Stockton addressed how Defense Department (DoD) resources and personnel could be prepared to respond to gubernatorial requests during a disaster affecting more than one state. Of primary importance, he argued, would be unity of effort in support of civilian authorities – state and local. To achieve this, Stockton stated three things were necessary: increasing the flow of federal capabilities into disaster areas, establishing chains of command and control a priori, and ensuring that federal forces are responsive to guidance from state authorities. To achieve these three goals, Stockton pressed for an increase in the sharing of disaster response plans between federal and state governments. “When I look at state plans and regional plans, I want to know, what have governors identified as potential gaps in state capabilities to respond to catastrophes in their state – the most likely catastrophes in their states. What are those likely areas in which they might actually request federal military assistance?” said Stockton.
Cilluffo began the roundtable discussion by noting the important conceptual differences that exist between homeland security and homeland defense, and the effects such differences have on policy. “I’d be curious as to how you define where homeland security ends and homeland defense begins. Because of the need to plan for the catastrophic and the need to meet the gap that exists between the roles and missions of DHS [Department of Homeland Security] and DoD, this is an important question,” said Cilluffo. Stockton responded by referring to the Defense Department’s role in territorial defense, including its role in ensuring that weapons of mass destruction are not smuggled into the United States. Yet, Stockton was quick to point out that DHS has primary responsibility for disaster response. DoD’s role, he said, is one of support. Audience members raised questions about: the procedures by which the states would request military support, decisions regarding resource allocation, and the organization and equipping of National Guard forces.
For video and other resources related to this event, see: http://www.gwumc.edu/
About HSPI’s Policy & Research Forum Series:
HSPI's Policy & Research Forum Series spotlights cutting-edge security policy solutions and innovative research. The Series is designed to provide thought leaders in the United States and abroad with a uniquely constructive venue in which to discuss current and future security issues and challenges.
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About the GW Homeland Security Policy Institute:
Founded in 2003, The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) is a nonpartisan “think and do” tank whose mission is to build bridges between theory and practice to advance homeland security through an interdisciplinary approach. By convening domestic and international policymakers and practitioners at all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors, and academia, HSPI creates innovative strategies and solutions to current and future threats to the nation. For additional information about HSPI, please visit http://www.gwumc.edu/