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National Innovation to Combat Catastrophic Terrorism (From Firepower in the Lab: Automation in the Fight Against Infectious Diseases and Terrorism, P 187-191, 2001, Tony J. Beugelsdijk, Scott P. Layne, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-193061)

NCJ Number
Ashton Carter
Date Published
5 pages
In this chapter a look at the United States' national security strategy was presented in relationship to the potential threat of catastrophic terrorism threats jeopardizing the United States' survival, way of life, and position in the world, requiring a more preventive approach.
Innovations in the U.S. national security strategy are needed to address those specific threats affecting the United States survival, way of life, and position in the world. These problems are considered of the highest order, making up the A-list. The threats posed by problems on the A-list were viewed as ill defined and requiring a more preventive-defensive approach toward a national security strategy. Identified A-list problems requiring preventive measures include: (1) Russia's state of affairs; (2) the emergence of a more prominent China and geopolitical effects; and (3) catastrophic terrorism with war-scale consequences. This chapter focused on the latter problem, catastrophic terrorism. The entire spectrum of prevention must be considered ranging from broad to focused surveillance, to tactical and strategic warning, to psychological prevention strategies, to deterrence. In addition, there is the need to develop several protections, such as vaccines, masks, interdiction of terrorism, and the detection of terrorist acts as they are being prepared or deployed. Also, a forensic plan must be developed to determine the terrorist or person(s) responsible. An important aspect of prevention and response is the multidisciplinary and multiagency nature of the need and who will take the lead based on the nature of the event, whether it is labeled as an attack, a crime, or a disaster. There are many strategic components critical in addressing catastrophic terrorism which include: (1) intelligence; (2) the role of the Department of Defense; (3) advanced planning; and (4) the acquisition of legislative support through education.