A new version of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) has been released. The complete report is available from DHS .
The 188 page report (with appendices) opens with the following purpose statement: Protecting and ensuring the resiliency of the critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR) of the United States is essential to the Nation’s security, public health and safety, economic vitality, and way of life. Attacks on CIKR could significantly disrupt the functioning of government and business alike and produce cascading effects far beyond the targeted sector and physical location of the incident. Direct terrorist attacks and natural, manmade, or technological hazards could produce catastrophic losses in terms of human casualties, property destruction, and economic effects, as well as profound damage to public morale and confidence. Attacks using components of the Nation’s CIKR as weapons of mass destruction could have even more devastating physical and psychological consequences.
Resilience is an increasingly popular term-of-art. Bad things will happen. How can we bounce-back more quickly and completely? Is resilience the new “robust” – jargon to camouflage lack of thought? Or will the Obama administration be serious in cultivating true resilience?
The risk of catastrophic consequence requires prevention and mitigation. Response, no matter how effective, is insufficient.
CIKR are vulnerable to terrorist, natural, manmade and technological hazards. It not just a war against terrorism, it is a struggle to manage and mitigate risk.
CIKR can be weaponized. CIKR are not just potential targets. Transportation resources, material processing, financial systems and much more can be used to attack other targets.
Elephant, gorilla, or other significant aspect treated as if it were a kitten:
Private sector ownership and control of CIKR is acknowledged but not seriously engaged. The goals and processes of the NIPP will only be meaningful if enthusiastically embraced by the private sector. How this level of collaboration might be cultivated is not given serious attention.
This absence reminds me of Chris Bellavita’s (Director of Programs at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security) fabulous fable of what works and what does not work in planning of every sort. This is available on YouTube (have your audio on).