Local assets are generally not as focused on incident management but on response.
However, most local governments have at least some form of incident management
capability. The local first responder would likely be the first personnel on the incident
scene and therefore are the target for many of the new federal and state WMD response
training programs. Local first responders may include fire fighters, police, and
emergency medical technicians. The local governments also serve as coordinators of
community specific efforts such as hospital mass casualty plans and facility utilization.
This direct WMD threat to US soil is obviously not entirely new in the modern
era. It arguably dates back to the early days of mutually assured destruction (MAD) as it
began to unfold as the best available deterrent. This deterrent was, and continues to be,
effective against our strategic nuclear peers. However, it very likely would not be
effective against what might be considered lesser nations that seek to blackmail the US.
What have we done to face up to this threat? It is clear DoD has taken some steps
and at least one columnist argues that a great deal has been done in the US overall. An
increased focus on the terrorist threat in general and significantly more spending across
the board highlighted his point. The editorial states, "When Bill Clinton leaves office in
January, he can claim credit for having done more than any other president to ensure that
the United States is prepared to counter the threat of terrorism. Overall spending on
preparedness and response measures nearly doubled, and terrorism was elevated to the
top of the list of security threats confronting the United States.42 But, the article goes on
to confirm that spending and focus has not been enough. Using the attack on the USS