United States remains “dangerously unprepared” to handle another
catastrophic attack, according to a study by the Council on Foreign
report said police, fire, public health and other officials lack
funds, equipment and training.
council, a New York-based private world affairs advocacy organization,
recommended spending $98 billion beyond the $27 billion it said
the federal government planned to spend on first responders over
the next five years.
Johndroe, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said
the conclusion that an additional $98 billion is needed for first
responders is “grossly inflated,” The Associated Press reported.
council's task force was led by former Sen. Warren Rudman, R-N.H.,
with Jamie Metzl, a former National Security Council and Senate
Foreign Relations Committee official, directing the project.
said the government must take immediate steps to ensure that the
nation's emergency officials are prepared to respond to a chemical,
biological or radiological attack.
are dealing with the possibility of tens of thousands of casualties.
And we must deal with it. This is not a question of, `Can we?' It's
a question of we must,” Rudman said on NBC's “Meet the Press.”
report found that, on average, fire departments across the country
have only enough radios to equip half the firefighters on a shift
and breathing apparatuses for only a third.
commission included former White House adviser Richard Clarke, former
FBI and CIA director William Webster and former military officials,
business leaders and Nobel laureates.