Sec. Chertoff and Sec. Rumsfeld sent a joint memorandum to President Bush two weeks ago, one which puts forth a common set of principles that the define conditions under which either DOD or DHS should lead the response to a catastrophic event. The memorandum defines the six “key facts and circumstances for consideration in making an assessment,” as listed below:
- The status of the State and local response. How effective is the initial State and local response, including the use of the affected Stateâ€™s or Statesâ€™ National Guard? Have first responders been overwhelmed by the incident? What is the availability of National Guard assistance from other states?
- Intergovernmental relations. What is the nature of the relationship, skill, and trust among the leadership of the Federal, State (or States), and local governments in the affected jurisdictions?
- Implementation of the National Response Plan. Has the Governor of the affected State requested Federal assistance or, in the absence of a request, have you invoked applicable Federal authorities to initiate a Federal response?
- The status of the Federal civilian response. Do available Federal civilian responders, with their contracted support, have the necessary capabilities to deal effectively with the incident? Are they, in fact, dealing effectively with the incident? What are the recommendations of the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Defense?
- The involvement of active duty U.S. military forces. Have U.S. military forces â€“ Active, National Guard, and Reserve â€“ been requested by the Governor of the affected State? Is the magnitude of the incident so great that the logistical, transportation, search and rescue, communications, or CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear) capabilities of DoD are deemed to be essential to an effective response?
- Military-to-military and military-to-civilian relations. What is the nature of the relationships among the U.S. military â€“ Active, National Guard, and Reserve â€“ and the Adjutant General and the Governor of the affected State?
These all seem appropriate, but they still leave a lot of room for subjectivity in this decision-making process. I’d like to know more about which specific types of scenarios would require DOD to take the lead role in response.