In a recent op-ed, Christine Todd Whitman, the former head of the EPA, proposed greater regulation of the U.S. chemical sector because the current regulations aren’t working. Gov. Whitman is right on one thing: the current system isn’t working, but it is not because of a lack of regulation. Chemical companies have tried, but DHS isn’t keeping up
Yesterday, the New York Times ran an editorial by Christine Todd Whitman, titled “The Chemical Threat to America.” In the op-ed, the author calls on the Administration to expand and implement chemical security regulations in the water sector as a means to protect America. She advocates that the federal government should be able to mandate chemical processes and force water systems to use so-called Inherently Safer Technologies. Ms. Whitman is smart and capable, but on this issue she is wrong, wrong, wrong.
CQ Homeland Security (subscription required) Chemical facility security is getting bogged down in Congress, due, evidently, from lack of energy (energy – get it? no one?): A set of bills that would extend the federal government’s ability to assess chemical facility security have never had a clear path to enactment, largely due to longstanding disagreements between [...]
Why Obama Should Take Out Iran’s Nuclear Program | Foreign Affairs According to the recent IAEA report, Iran is closer to having nuclear weapons that was widely assumed. Once it does goes nuclear, Tehran will be almost impossible to stop. To prevent it, the Obama administration must use military force–and soon.
DHS | Modeling Airborne Chemical Releases: Ninety Tons of Trouble Blowin’ in the Wind How do DHS experimenters release 4,000 pounds of deadly gas in 1 minute? Very, very carefully.
U.S. Isn’t Ready for Large Biological Attack, Officials Say – Businessweek The U.S. isn’t prepared to respond to a pandemic or large biological attack, federal officials said. “We’re not ready for a global catastrophe involving” a pathogen, Tara O’Toole, undersecretary for science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security, said today at a Senate [...]
The present, predominant view that Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) is confined to Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High Yield Explosives (CBRNE) only is now passé. Many people do not even include the “E”. This is far too narrow a view! At least two other categories must be included in the pantheon of WMD. These are cyber weapons and economic warfare.
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack – produced by a nuclear weapon detonated at a high altitude or by a geomagnetic storm – has the potential to decimate America’s electrical and technological infrastructure. The Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack found that an EMP is a threat to our society and military. Yet, despite broad consensus, Congress has yet to act in a substantive manner. For the most part, U.S. government agencies have not taken planning for their response to an EMP attack out of the theoretical stages.
The Center for a New American Security released an excellent study – “Aum Shinrikyo: Insights Into How Terrorists Develop Biological and Chemical Weapons.” The result is a superb history of a singular event in modern terrorism history – the Sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo in 1995. The CNAS team shows how a small group of dedicated loyalists can pull off some acts that many “experts” still persist in saying only nation states can do and highlight that sixteen years later, still facing a threat from terrorists, we need to learn more from this incident.
In a recent Washington Examiner column, Gene Healy, a vice president at the Cato Institute, suggests that we worry too much about serious threats to national security. He posits that we are in an era of great peace and stability. To downplay the threat of bioterrorism, Mr. Healy quotes Milton Leitenberg from the University of Maryland: “The idea that four guys in a cave are going to create bioweapons from scratch — that will be never, ever, ever.” The statements of both Mr. Healy and Mr. Leitenberg require rebuttal.