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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 11, 2011

Bioterrorism and U.S. Domestic Preparedness: Bureaucratic Fragmentation and American Vulnerability

  • Christine C. Fry-Pierce and Paul E. Lenze

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?

Published Online: 2011-8-11

©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston

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