In my latest at CFIF, I report on the warnings from former Congressman and Assistant Defense Secretary Paul McHale about how the Obama administration has gutted our capability to respond to “truly catastrophic events” such as major WMD terrorism on the American mainland.
To handle such CBRNEs (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) incidents, the Bush Administration provided for creation of three CBRNE Consequence Management Response Forces (CCMRFs), under presidential command and control, as part of the Northern Command. Each CCMRF would feature 5,000 personnel, able either to respond to three separate, simultaneous events or to be “tailored or combined as needed.” By the time G.W. Bush left office, two CCMRFs already were operational.
Following the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) overseen by the Obama team, however, two of the three CCMRF groups were dropped. In doing so, the Obamites ignored warnings from two major, statutorily convened groups of experts.
And, as McHale made clear, the CCMRFs would be entirely subject to the Posse Comitatus Act (against using the military for domestic law enforcement), so civil liberties would be thoroughly protected.
This is an issue that merits more attention — but, alas, the prospect of “sequestration” as a result of the “fiscal cliff” would make it even more difficult to provide the funding necessary for the other two CCMRFs.
Tens or even hundreds of thousands of lives might hang in the balance.
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