This testimony addresses GAO’s preliminary observations on DOD’s role in CBRNE consequence management efforts and addresses the extent to which (1) DOD’s plans and capabilities are integrated with other federal government plans, (2) DOD has planned for and structured its force to provide CBRNE consequence management assistance, (3) DOD’s CBRNE Consequence Management Response Forces (CCMRF) are prepared to perform their mission; and (4) DOD has funding plans for the CCMRF that are linked to requirements for specialized CBRNE capabilities.
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Homeland Defense: Preliminary Observations on Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High-Yield Explosives Consequence Management Plans and Preparedness
- October 6, 2009
Homeland Security – Much Is Being Done to Protect Agriculture from a Terrorist Attack, but Important Challenges Remain
U.S. agriculture generates more than $1 trillion per year in economic activity and provides an abundant food supply for Americans and others. Since the September 11, 2001, attacks, there are new concerns about the vulnerability of U.S. agriculture to the deliberate introduction of animal and plant diseases (agroterrorism). Several agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Defense (DOD), play a role in protecting the nation against agroterrorism. GAO examined (1) the federal agencies’ roles and responsibilities to protect against agroterrorism, (2) the steps that the agencies have taken to manage the risks of agroterrorism, and (3) the challenges and problems that remain.
- March 12, 2012
Homeland Security: Actions Needed to Improve Response to Potential Terrorist Attacks and Natural Disasters Affecting Food and Agriculture
Podcast: Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Systems
The President issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) -9 in 2004 to establish a national policy to defend the food and agriculture systems against terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. HSPD-9 assigns various emergency response and recovery responsibilities to the Departments of Agriculture (USDA), Health and Human Services (HHS), Homeland Security (DHS), and others. In addition, Emergency Support Function (ESF) -11 addresses the federal food and agriculture response during emergencies and is coordinated by USDA. GAO was asked to evaluate (1) the extent to which there is oversight of federal agencies’ overall progress in implementing HSPD-9; (2) the steps USDA has taken to implement its HSPD-9 responsibilities for response and recovery and challenges, if any; and (3) the circumstances under which USDA has coordinated an ESF-11 response and challenges it faces, if any. GAO reviewed key documents; surveyed states; and interviewed agency, state, and industry officials.
- February 3, 2012
Homeland Security: Challenges for the Food and Agriculture Sector in Responding to Potential Terrorist Attacks and Natural Disasters
This testimony examines issues related to food and agriculture emergencies. Agriculture is critical to public health and the nation’s economy. It annually produces $300 billion worth of food and other farm products and is estimated to be responsible for 1 out of every 12 U.S. jobs. As a result, any natural or deliberate disruption of the agriculture or food production systems–including natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and food contamination–can present a serious threat to the national economy and human health and can halt or slow trade. The food and agriculture systems are also vulnerable to terrorist attacks, such as the intentional introduction of a foreign animal or plant disease or the intentional contamination of food products. Recognizing the vulnerability of the U.S. food and agriculture systems, the President issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) -9 in January 2004 to establish a national policy to defend these systems against terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. HSPD-9 assigns various emergency response planning and recovery responsibilities to federal agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture (USDA), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Homeland Security (DHS), and also the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Separately, DHS’s 2008 National Response Framework outlines how the nation will collectively respond to any emergency, regardless of its cause or size. The framework includes 15 emergency support functions (ESF) for the federal response to an emergency or for federal support to states during an emergency. DHS activates individual ESFs when a threat or emergency necessitates a specific type of coordinated federal response. ESF-11 specifically addresses the federal food and agriculture response during emergencies, and USDA is designated as coordinator. This testimony summarizes the findings in our report on response and recovery efforts for food and agriculture emergencies.
- February 3, 2012
Senior military officials recently testified before Congress that current and future adversaries are likely to use “hybrid warfare” tactics, a blending of conventional and irregular approaches across the full spectrum of conflict. In light of references to “hybrid warfare”, Congress asked the GOA to define the term and determine how hybrid warfare differs from other types of warfare and how the DOD uses the concept in its strategic planning documents.
- September 6, 2010