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Panel Composition

Mr. Chairman, as I usually do on occasions like this, please allow me to

pay special tribute to the men and women who serve on our panel.

This Advisory Panel is unique in one very important way. It is not the

typical national “blue ribbon” panel, which in most cases historically have been

composed almost exclusively of what I will refer to as “Washington Insiders”

people who have spent most of their professional careers inside the Beltway. This

panel has a sprinkling of that kind of experience—a former Member of Congress

and Secretary of the Army, a former State Department Ambassador-at-Large for

Counterterrorism, a former senior executive from the CIA and the FBI, a former

senior member of the Intelligence Community, the former head of a national

academy on public health, two retired flag-rank military officers, a former senior

executive in a non-governmental charitable organization, and the head of a

national law enforcement foundation. But what truly makes this panel special

and, therefore, causes its pronouncement to carry significantly more weight, is the

contribution from the members of the panel from the rest of the country:

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Three directors of state emergency management agencies, from
California, lowa, and Indiana, two of whom now also serve their
Governor's as Homeland Security Advisors
The deputy director of a state homeland security agency
A state epidemiologist and director of a state public health agency
A former city manager of a mid-size city
The chief of police of a suburban city in a major metropolitan area
Senior professional and volunteer fire fighters
A senior emergency medical services officer of a major metropolitan area
And, of course in the person of your witness--a former State governor

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These are representatives of the true “first responders"—those heroic men and

women who put their lives on the line every day for the public health and safety

of all Americans. Moreover, so many of these panel members are also national

leaders in their professions: our EMS member is a past president of the national

association of emergency medical technicians; one of our emergency managers is

the past president of her national association; our law officer now is president of

the international association of chiefs of police; our epidemiologist is past

president of her professional organization; one of our local firefighters is chair of

the terrorism committee of the international association of fire chiefs; the other is

chair of the prestigious national Interagency Board for Equipment Standardization

and Interoperability.

Read our reports and you will understand what that expertise has meant to

the policy recommendations that we have made, especially for the events of last

year.

Those attacks continue to carry much poignancy for us, because of the direct loss

to the panel. Ray Downey, Department Deputy Chief and chief-in-charge of Special

Operations Command, Fire Department of the City of New York a friend of the

Chairman and known to this subcommittee and others like it throughout the Congress,

perished in the attack on the New York World Trade Center. Although we continue to

miss Ray's superb advice, counsel, and dedication to these issues, we trust that Ray

knows that we are carrying on in the tradition that he helped us to establish.

Our Continuing Mission

Mr. Chairman and Members, this Advisory Panel continues to work hard to

develop the best possible policy recommendations for consideration by the President and

the Congress. Now, of course, people and organizations are coming out of the

woodwork, claiming to be all manner of “experts" in homeland security. At the same

time, this panel is toiling away, seeking neither fame nor credit for its work, simply trying

to find some rational and feasible solutions to many problems and challenges that still

face us.

Observations about Terrorism Preparedness

In the course of our deliberations, the Advisory Panel has been guided by several

basic observations and assumptions that have helped to inform our conclusions and

policy recommendations for improving our preparedness to combat terrorism.

First, all terrorism is “local,” our at least will start locally. That fact has a lot to

do, in our view, with the emphasis, the priorities, and the allocation of resources to

address requirements. September 11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks were further

proof of that basic assumption.

Second, a major attack anywhere inside our borders will likely be beyond the

response capabilities of a local jurisdiction, and will, therefore, require outside help

perhaps from other local jurisdictions, from that jurisdiction's state government or

multiple state resources, perhaps from the Federal government, if the attack is significant

enough to exhaust other resources. That principle was likewise validated last September. Given those two factors, our approach to combating terrorism should be from the

“bottom up”—with the requirements of State and local response entities foremost in

mind.

We note that we have many existing capabilities that we can build on in an “all

hazards” approach, which can include capabilities for combating terrorism.

Our thorough research and deliberations have also led us to observe that there is

great apprehension among States and localities that some Federal entity will attempt to come in and take charge of all activities and displace local response efforts and expertise.

That was not and likely could not, because of the actual circumstances in New York,

have been the case in September. But all events may not unfold in that fashion.

Based on a significant amount of analysis and discussion, we have been of the view that few if any major structural or legal changes are required to improve our

collective efforts; and that the "first order” challenges are policy and better

organization—not simply more money or new technology.

With respect to Federal efforts, two years ago we concluded that, prior to an

actual event, no one cabinet department or agency can “supervise” the efforts of other

federal departments or agencies. When an event occurs, response will be situational

dependent; federal agencies can execute responsibilities within existing authority and

expertise, but under established "Lead Federal Agency” coordinating processes.

The chart attached to this testimony is an attempt to depict graphically the

magnitude of the problem and the necessary interrelationships that must exist among

entities at the local, State, and Federal levels. It shows that integration must exist both

vertically and horizontally among various functions and the agencies that have

responsibilities for executing those functions. It also emphasizes our view that simplistic

categories such as “crisis management” and “consequence management” do not

adequately describe the full spectrum of functions or responsibilities.

Support for Panel Activities and Reports

Mr. Chairman, it also says something about the foresight of this committee that

you directed in legislation that analytical and other support for the Advisory Panel would

be provided by a Federally Funded Research and Development Center. We have been

exceptionally fortunate to have that support provided by The RAND Corporation. The

breadth and depth of experience at RAND in terrorism and policy issues across a broad

spectrum have made possible the panel's success in accomplishing its mandate. Its

assessments of federal programs, its case studies and hundreds of interviews across the

country and around the world, its seminal work in surveying state and local response

entities nationwide, its facilitation of our discussion--leading to near unanimity of

members on this broad spectrum of recommendations, its work in drafting reports based

on our extensive deliberations, all have combined to make this effort a most effective and

meaningful one.

Our Reports

In our first three reports, the advisory panel has, through its assessments and

recommendations, laid a firm foundation for actions that must be taken across a broad

spectrum of threats in a number of strategic and functional contexts to address this

problem more effectively.

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