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Bioterrorism and U.S. domestic preparedness: Bureaucratic fragmentation and American vulnerability

Fry-Pierce, Christine C. and Lenze Jr., Paul E. (2011) Bioterrorism and U.S. domestic preparedness: Bureaucratic fragmentation and American vulnerability. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 8 (1). ISSN 1547-7355


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Publisher’s or external URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2202/1547-7355.1887


This article takes a closer look at the United States’ domestic preparedness program. Beginning in the mid-1990s, the domestic preparedness program has served as the United States’ disaster response and management option in the case of a biological or chemical weapons attack. In its early years, the program focused solely on chemical weapons, but eventually expanded to cover the threat of biological weapons as well. The program, however, is fragmented, leaving authority in the hands of over a dozen different agencies. This leaves the authorities, capabilities, and resources needed to effectively implement the program divided across multiple bureaucracies. In addition, the program is essentially made up of a series of legislative initiatives, causing it to be desperately uncoordinated. Given this organizational fragmentation, we ask: does the domestic preparedness program really prepare the United States for a biological weapons attack?

Item Type: Article
Publisher’s Statement: © 2011 Berkeley Electronic Press. Available at: http://www.bepress.com/jhsem/vol8/iss1/39
ID number or DOI: 10.2202/1547-7355.1887
Keywords: domestic preparedness, bioterrorism, national security
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Faculty/Staff
Department/Unit: College of Social and Behavioral Science > Politics and International Affairs
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2016 17:16
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/939

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