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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.

Summary

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

53

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