Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Report Finds Military Unprepared for Domestic Attack

An independent report released last Thursday found that the military is woefully unprepared for a catastrophic attack -- including the potential use of a nuclear weapon -- on U.S. soil, and that the National Guard doesn't have either the training or the equipment to do the job.

The voluminous 400-page report was prepared by the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves, which was tasked by Congress to conduct a comprehensive examination of how the Guard and Reserves are used in national defense and to recommend any needed changes in laws and policies governing the National Guard and Reserves.

Particularly frightening, the report notes:

Terrorist attacks or natural disasters of greater magnitude than Hurricane Katrina are very real possibilities. A major nuclear attack on a large metropolitan area or a Category 5 hurricane striking a large city would kill great numbers of people and cause enormous damage to property and infrastructure. If such an event occurs, it is likely that civilian government at some level will be unable to deal with the consequences. (p.92)


Should a catastrophic event occur, [the Department of Defense] will be expected to respond rapidly and massively. It therefore must be manned, trained, and equipped to do so. This effort should include ensuring that all forces assigned to domestic [chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives] consequence management are fully budgeted for, sourced, manned, trained, and equipped. Because the nation has not adequately resourced its forces designated for response to weapons of mass destruction, it does not have sufficient trained, ready forces available. This is an appalling gap, which puts the nation and its citizens at greater risk. (p.107)

I can’t say I’m going to sleep well tonight.

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