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Overall, DoD is currently charged with providing military assistance as required

to other federal agencies. According to the WMD Incident Contigency Plan, this

assistance to the LFA may include: “threat assessment, Domestic Emergency Support

Team (DEST) deployment, technical advice, operational support, tactical operations,

support for civil disturbances, and custody, transportation, and disposal of a WMD

device.”2 How can it do all this without someone in charge at the strategic level? As an

example of the problem, the NDPO currently must coordinate its pre-WMD incident

training activities independently with each of the DoD organizations operating at various

levels of command. They cannot be expected to receive integrated DoD assistance

without a strategic level organization providing the direction to all DoD agencies

supporting their efforts.

Has the Department of Defense, with its constitutional mission of supporting and

defending the US against all enemies--foreign and domestic, shirked its responsibilities to

do just that? Afterall, the WMD threat to the US is here, it is now, it is sizable, it is

directly facing the American public, and it has the potential to inflict great damage and

loss of life.

If DoD is to restructure along functional lines, such as the Fletcher Conference

suggested and the Hart-Rudman commission hinted through the establishment of the

NHSA, then it must have a strategic organizational structure responsible for this area as a

primary mission. “There's no question,” agreed new Secretary of Defense Donald

Rumsfeld, “that the United States of America needs to get arranged, so that we can

effectively deter and defend against threats that are new and emerging.”3


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