Local and regional hazmat teams now serve at the forward edge of the homeland-defense forces responding to incidents involving the use or potential presence of toxic agents. How are these front-line heroes trained - and who trains them?
The world has changed significantly since 9/11 - and become much more dangerous. To provide for the common defense the United States also has to change - its laws, its policies, and maybe the U.S. Constitution as well.
The terrorist threat is everywhere: on land, in the air, and not only at sea but underwater as well. Navy/Coast Guard swimmer defense teams will help to restore the balance - but it could be a very close race.
The FBI's Hostage Rescue Team was born in controversy and criticism but is now considered one of the most capable, mobile, and flexible federal counterterrorism resources available to states and cities throughout the country.
The hazards faced on the job by law-enforcement officers are difficult enough. Additional dangers often await them, though, in post-incident investigations, in uninformed media reports, and in U.S. courtrooms across the country.
The first step: to get all federal, state, & local maritime agencies to work more closely with one another in security planning. The current task, equally important: coordinate all day-to-day security operations within and involving the nation's seaports.
The U.S. intelligence community is smart enough to know that no one knows it all. For that reason it relies frequently on the nation's open-source intelligence industry to provide additional information.
The age of terrorism has made it mandatory that varying first-responder communities in every city & state throughout the nation not only plan and train together but also develop the long-term synergistic relationships needed to join forces as a superteam.
It may be impossible to thwart all suicide bombings. But there are several important steps to follow to deal with the aftermath, save the lives of innocent victims, and minimize the destruction of critical infrastructure and other facilities.