Immediately after Hurricane Katrina struck, criticism began about how slow the federal response was. However, response timelines from other, similar natural disasters show that the military arrived at least at its typical speed. There are three lessons that one can learn from this response.
First, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Northern Command (NORTH COM) did not slow or complicate the response.
Second, while the Department of Defense (DOD) has an adequate response mechanism for normal disasters, it is not adequately organized and prepared to respond to catastrophic disasters.
Third, the Defense Department should restructure the National Guard so that it can respond more effectively to catastrophic disasters.
"We must be ready to dare all for our country. For history does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid. We must acquire proficiency in defense and display stamina in purpose." - President Eisenhower, First Inaugural Address
Monday, November 28, 2005
The military and its response to Hurricane Katrina
Interesting read from the Heritage Foundation: Military Support to Civilian Authorities: An Assessment of the Response to Hurricane Katrina
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