The American Leadership & Policy Foundation is dedicated to offering salient, world-class analysis and vetted research. Through this unbiased research, ALPF aims to restore the voice of America’s citizens in government. Rather than focus on the symptoms, our commonsense research and policy endeavors seek to deliver more by developing long-term solutions that tackle the root-causes of issues. This approach helps us ensure continued security, prosperity, and freedom for all Americans by cultivating sound governance.
Recently, the American Leadership & Policy Foundation has published the following blue papers:
Can a state, pseudo-state, or non-state actor(s) deliver Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)/Weapons of Mass Effect (WME) to strategically impact America’s infrastructure absent employment of Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM), Submarine—Launched Ballistic Missiles (SBLM), or other conventional means? The answer is YES. Thus, the feasibility of using novel delivery platforms to achieve offensive capabilities against the United States should be examined and understood by the emergency management and national security communities.
Within interdisciplinary research as well as the emergency management community, it is important to distinguish between facts, theories, and opinions and the means by which these are created and tested; thesis, hypothesis, and experiments. This understanding is key because the knowledge base that decision makers and emergency manager’s have will inevitably drive critical decisions. Sound or well-reasoned facts and theories should result in more effective decisions on the part of leaders. The following sections provide an overview of key terminology used in interdisciplinary research as applied through the lens of emergency management. Each term is defined, explained, and then applied for contextual purposes.
Cascade effects are the ramifications from an incident, attack, or event. According to Goldschmitt (2009), “The premise of cascade effects is that the initial attack or event may trigger secondary disasters.” These events can be singular or multiple in nature. For instance, a large-scale disaster such as a hurricane could create multiple secondary incidents and complications such as large-scale power outage, massive flooding, or large areas without access to food and water. Each resulting issue could have its own secondary and tertiary issues, constituting what Goldschmitt & Bonvino (2009) characterized as a multiple cascading event.
After the terrorist attacks on September 11, the 9/11 Commission found that the United States Intelligence Community was reactionary and lacked unity and focus. After Hurricane Katrina, post-Katrina analysis showed a failure to prepare, failure to understand the risks, and again, a reactionary approach. Exercises, such as Hurricane Pam in 2004, were either dismissed or their lessons not incorporated in a timely fashion. Again, emergency managers find ourselves faced with the question of why we continue to react to disasters rather than implement preventative measures. “Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: An Independent Study to Assess the Future Savings from Mitigation” discusses an independent study and findings that support the notion that mitigation saves money over rebuilding after a disaster occurs.