Gilmore Commission - Minutes
Panel to Assess the Capabilities for Domestic Response
to Terrorist Acts Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction
The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, March 29, 2000
James Clapper, Vice Chairman
M. Patricia Quinlisk
Ellen Embrey, Department of Defense Representative
Michael Wermuth, RAND project director
The Honorable James Gilmore, Chairman
L. Paul Bremer
I. Opening Remarks.
Vice Chairman: Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have more than a quorum, so we will proceed. Governor Gilmore's mother passed away on Sunday, so he will, for obvious reasons, not be here today. He conveys his best wishes and asks us to press on in his absence. If the Governor were here, he would want to take note of the fact that the Pentagon sits in Virginia, even though it has a Washington address. He would also probably point out that it is symbolic of the serious responsibility that the Commonwealth of Virginia has in the safety and security of key facilities of the nation.
Welcome to the two new members of our panel. The Honorable Jack Marsh, former Secretary of the Army, who is enroute by train but has not yet arrived and Dr. Richard Falkenrath from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, a noted researcher and author. Both of them bring a wealth of experience and diverse backgrounds on the subject.
After a fairly intense session in Santa Monica, our first report was delivered to Congress and the President on time and, I assume, within cost. It turned out to be timely in more ways than one as we approached Y2K and the events surrounding that time.
(Marsh arrives). Welcome Jack Marsh. I also want to introduce former Chief of Staff of the Army, General Dennis Reimer, who is observing this morning. As you may know, General Reimer has consented to accept a position with The National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism in Oklahoma City, as an adjunct to the Oklahoma City memorial for the victims of the 1995 bombing.
The first report of the panel did receive some press, most of it accurate. Were the Governor here, I think he would say that this is the first increment in a continuing influence the panel will have on the nation's preparedness. There are a lot of complex dimensions to the issues that we are considering. We are not sure that the government posture, particularly that of the Federal government has jelled yet. But that is an area where we can provide service. A useful role this panel can perform is to serve as a body of advisors and some corporate memory as we contemplate a change, regardless of the victor, as a result of the fall election.
We cannot be single focused. That is one of the strengths of this group: our diverse constituencies. A balance of federal, state and local groups are represented, which speaks well to the chemistry of the group.
To the Governor's credit, he has been active between meetings engaging with state and local leaders in Atlanta in February at the National Governors Association meeting, and is maintaining an ongoing dialog with members of Congress.
The panel leadership has been invited to testify before the House Investigations, Oversight and Emergency Management Subcommittee chaired by Congresswoman Tillie Fowler on Thursday, April 6. I expect that I will represent the panel and provide testimony. The Governor's view at this point is that the crystallizing of the federal coordination apparatus is not proceeding at a pace that he would like to see, that it might even be backsliding. We have finished our first deliverable and are well into our second phase now. We want to profit from our experience on the first deliverable and impose deadlines on RAND and ourselves to ensure that appropriate deliberation occurs. This will ensure it turns out as our product and not RAND's, as it appropriately should. That is, in fact, what the RAND leadership wants, and is prepared to provide the kind of support that will help us all accomplish that goal.
Today we will have an overview of significant federal developments, a discussion of areas of previous interest, and input on the panel's work effort. Before the day is out, I would ask for input from the panel for next week's testimony. During the course of the day, please give me some thoughts that will help guide me in the testimony next week, to ensure that it reflects the panels views, not my own.
Again, the Governor has asked me to convey his heartfelt thanks to each of you.
With those introductory comments, Mike Wermuth, would you take care of administrative announcements and introductions?
The Vice Chairman turned the meeting over to Mr. Wermuth for introductions and to begin the program and discussion.
II. Housekeeping and Administrative Matters.
Wermuth: All visitors must be escorted while you are in the Pentagon. If you have a red badge, please ensure you are accompanied whenever you leave this room. Please remain conscious of security requirements in the building.
The meeting will also be recorded today.
Mr. Wermuth introduced visitors and RAND staff, then discussed each of the handouts and identified supplementary materiel available to panel members.
III. Summary of Congressional Activities.
Vice Chairman: Next on the agenda is a summary of congressional activities as they pertain to terrorism legislation. The House Transportation Subcommittee for Investigations, Oversight, and Emergency Management has requested testimony from our commission. Mike, would you give us the background?
Wermuth: There is a request from The House Transportation Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Emergency Management for testimony from our commission. Congresswoman Fowler's particular interest is based on her role as Chair of the oversight committee for FEMA. The session will not be limited to our testimony. GAO will also testify, and the committee has also invited some first responders. The desired purpose is for us to provide an overview of the panel activities. I am sure whomever represents the panel in testimony will be very careful to ensure the panel does not go on record on anything which the panel has not thoroughly discussed and previously made a matter of record.
There have been a number of discussions taking place, about our report, particularly about providing a structure to get a better handle on coordination and execution of the federal government portion of domestic preparedness for response to terrorism. There is still not a good answer to the question of how this is all being managed. Just last week, before Congressman Shays committee in the House, Congressman Shays asked senior Federal representatives the question: "Who is in charge?" He was greeted with silence in response.
(Mr. Wermuth discussed some additional anecdotes from Congressional hearings, indicating a lack of a clearly understood leadership structure and coordinating mechanism.)
The leadership at the top level is not in place. There is no cohesive mechanism in the executive branch which provides coordination of all aspects of this issue. Part and parcel of this is the lack of centralized management. Congress is sufficiently concerned that a lack of definitive action on the part of the executive branch to put a structure in place may, by the rumblings we are hearing, cause Congress to step in and take action.
But, as the panel did in its first report, we can turn the cannon around the other way down Pennsylvania Avenue also. Congress is also part of the problem. Interestingly enough, they are acknowledging that in open forum. Everyone we talk to seems to agree that they are just as disorganized on this issue as the executive branch. To date their concern has not translated into a proposal of a special committee to focus on the issue, as you recommended that they consider doing in the first panel report. There are, however, some interesting things going on. For example, Senator Lott has started a "loose knit" group of committee/subcommittee chairs of the appropriate committees in the Senate. However, in many cases, the confusion in the executive branch entities are due to their following the will of Congress in executing specific projects authorized and specific funding directed by the Congress.
You can pick any functional area; take research and development for example. There are agencies all over the government conducting pieces of terrorism research and development, with no central coordination, no set priorities, no system for deconflicting or management oversight. CDC, the DOE National Labs, and the US Army labs are all working on various parts, without any central coordination.
All of this is compounded by the fact this is the spring of an "even numbered year, divisible by four." There are some indications that we will not see innovative or forward-looking action for the remainder of the current administration.
Foresman: Not to beat a dead horse, but each committee in Congress seems to be taking a piece of the pie. While it is not the charter of this panel to micromanage the Congress, it is clear to me that the leadership in the Senate, at least, is not willing to take any concrete action on coordination. The Senate wants the executive branch to bring a plan to Congress. The House seems more willing to deal directly with the coordination issues. Long story short, things do not look good on the Hill. In addition to the taxonomy on the executive branch, a taxonomy on what's going on in Congress may be, I dare say, even more confusing than the executive branch.
(The panel discussed some parallel areas and how they are being managed)
Jones: I was somewhat excited when the Department of Justice came out with the three-year survey on local responders needs. Is it your sense this is just a throw away report?
Foresman: I think that is a key question. The codification for the equipment funding program is in the appropriation language, not the authorizing language. If the Congress decides next year they do not want to do it, they can simply take the appropriation away. I think Justice is carrying forward what the House and Senate appropriations people have told them they want done. There is, however, the potential for fits and starts.
Reno: A couple or three issues. First, Ken Crimington as a committee staffer can posture questions. Perhaps we need to discuss this with him and at the end of the day have questions we want you to be asked. Second, if the federal government got its act together, would Congress fall in line? Congressional committees often are organized along federal government lines. Third, if I were in Congress, I would be asking how we could obligate $10 Billion per year without someone being in charge. It's a rhetorical question, but if I was sitting in the Congress I would be embarrassed to ask that question.
Crimington: (Ken Crimington, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee) The issue of terrorism and terrorism preparedness is not my area. I am not the expert on this. I would rather sit back and observe.
Palarino: (Nick Palarino, National Security Subcommittee) I would like to echo General Reno's comments on who's in charge and the spending of $10B.
Falkenrath: If I could, for my first intervention with this group, put a somewhat heretical idea on the table. We will never have a good answer to "Who's in charge?" That is the nature of our division of power in government. Each agency or division will only know or control what his or her department is doing. One contribution this panel might make is to say this question can only go so far. It is just the nature of our government.
Vice Chairman: I agree with you, but at the same time the issue seems to be whether we can't do a better job of coordinating horizontally.
Quinlisk: There are more and more committees and task forces. Adding more committees adds more confusion. We need real coordination.
Maniscalco: We may have paralysis by analysis. Fundamental changes and quick fixes are being disregarded for the high tech widget, and as Pat and a number of panel members have said, another meeting. Clearly the suggestion alluded to, a taxonomy, to show the chaos Congress has created, would be helpful.
Ralston: We may not ever have a person totally in charge, but we can suggest better coordination laterally. Maybe we could make some inroads.
O'Brien: One of the problems is in determining who has responsibility. It is absolutely essential we define the roles and responsibilities for the various activities.
Downey: If we don't know the end product, the problem lies in that the recipient of the end product doesn't know who is in charge and where it is coming from. If we can identify that, I think we are closer to a solution.
Marsh: It is my pleasure to be here. You made reference to my service in Congress, much of which was on the Committee that had jurisdiction over civil defense. I would caution and warn the panel and the Congress to not let this fall into the black hole of civil defense.
Civil defense was something we could not really get a handle on. We spent a lot of money on this, but most people do not think it was very effective. We need to ensure this is not perceived as civil defense. There is a fundamental change that is not fully understood. During the cold war a nuclear explosion was perceived to be an attack on the United States by a foreign power. Defense was clearly in the lead. Now we perceive these acts to be criminal first. Justice has the lead. This is a fundamental change --treated criminally unless and until it has been established that a rogue nation initiated the attack. In this we are dealing with two Presidential Decision Directives: PDD 62 on Weapons of Mass Destruction and PDD 63 on Protecting Infrastructure and Cyberterrorism. In PDD 63, the Critical Information Assurance Officer was created. But the Congress zeroed it in appropriations.
So Congress is just as much to blame in this as the executive branch. I teach this issue at the law school at William and Mary. The complexity of federal bureaucracy is a problem. There are enormous problems in this complexity. This is the father of all rice bowls.
Jones: This Department of Justice program, the Domestic Equipment Program, was originally one size fits all. The plan we are developing in California is truly a plan of needs and assessment, not just equipment. We will see if Congress ever funds an appropriate portion of the plan. But I predict that we will not get the federal government together in my lifetime.
Falkenrath: The capabilities are located across so many offices; it will be hard to get it all together.
Vice Chairman: This is a segue to move to the status of NDPO. The National Domestic Preparedness Office was established at the FBI when FEMA reportedly declined to host it. NDPO came out of the FBI top line funding. We, on the panel, endorsed the NDPO concept in our first report, page 55. The concept was for NDPO to be a clearinghouse for state and local officials to navigate the federal bureaucracy a kind of "one-stop shop." It was not to be an operational entity, would not have budget authority, nor was it to have a method to influence the agencies.
Let me summarize the meeting that Mike (Wermuth), Ellen (Embrey) and I had with the NDPO leadership on Monday of this week. "There is trouble in River City." NDPO will not succeed as currently structured and located. The funding request to OMB is minimal ($1.4 requested of $6 million earmarked in the appropriation.) This level of funding will put NDPO on life support only and will not provide enough money for the NDPO to hire state and local first responders. The FY01 request is less than $1 million; and there is no hard requirement for other agencies to detail people to NDPO. The FBI has of course provided people, but few other agencies have.
Back to Richard's point. The construct, which comes to mind, is the Office of National Drug Control Policy under General McCaffrey, an office that looks across government in that subject area. It may have some baggage though.
Wermuth: To expand on that a bit, that construct - one similar to ONDCP -- is being discussed on the Hill. There are some interesting parallels. The issue of direct budget authority is always a hot issue. ONDCP has not had budget funding authority. They do, however, have a coordination, screening and deconfliction role. They are not an operational entity, but bring people together in a coordination role.
Jones: Since what we are talking about involves a lot of Consequence Management, is FEMA a major player in NDPO?
Vice Chairman: I thought that was a major objective of NDPO, to act as a bridge between DOJ and FEMA. What struck me last Monday is that it goes well beyond that. There are numerous agencies and stakeholders involved.
Maniscalco: I am a loyalist to Frederick Taylor, bureaucracies are not bad. But, I am not sure the system can handle a major domo or czar at this point. The press may throw around a $10B number. Before this became chic, $8.5 B was already being invested already. The real numbers being added to state and local efforts here is $1.5B. That is not a lot of money to set up an infrastructure, build capacity for state and local efforts to respond in a coherent manner and develop cohesive, sustainable strategies. When the top cop, the AG, says make NDPO happen and we can't find $6M, what signal does that send? Obviously that is rhetorical, but how do we capture the real issues?
Falkenrath: We have reports on the breakdown on the $1.5B. Only about $250M is really going to improving capability.
Maniscalco: In the last 90 days, I have had no less than six requests to submit information to Congress. This has turned into a paper chase. It is time for action. We don't need reports. We need investment in sustainable infrastructure to make the process go. Our panel is charged with coming up with recommendations that sets the current capacity for response and how we proceed from here. I am concerned that we not get into designing offices. Bottom line is we need a coordinator. We need to get the focus of the committee. Sorry about my soapbox.
Vice Chairman: What should we say next week? NDPO is less than a resounding success.
Maniscalco: The FBI rose to the occasion with NDPO. The other offices did not contribute.
Falkenrath: Your attack is a little bit misdirected. The problem is not one of support from other agencies. The concept of NDPO: the whole idea was flawed. Wrong location, duplication of effort, etc.
Maniscalco: But don't turn to the military. They are fundamentally warriors. Are we compromising National Security by giving them a civilian mission rather than building the civilian infrastructure? That's just another rhetorical question.
Wermuth: Let me pose this. Would it be a safe answer to say the committee's position is: We need a coordinating mechanism. It should have representation from federal agencies and state and local officials. It should have the resources to accomplish the mission and it needs visibility to senior policymakers, both in Congress and the Executive Branch. It cannot be buried in an organization. The structure is immaterial.
Embrey: I would hope that the panel would caveat this as a "work in progress."
Maniscalco: Is it within our charter to say: "There should be no unfounded mandates?"
Vice Chairman: I don't mind saying that, but don't think it is the first time it has been said. Next is legal issues.
Marsh: As the new boy on the block, I need to ask what the commission sees as it's charter?
Wermuth: We are here to assess the federal effort in this area. What does the federal government do that is helpful, not helpful, and what more can be done? The Vice Chairman reread the charter in the legislation. The panel then agreed to a specific set of "attributes" that should be present in any coordinating mechanism in the executive branch for combating terrorism, and the Vice Chairman was authorized by the panel to articulate those attributes in the upcoming testimony. IV. Legal Issues. Barry Kellman, DePaul University School of Law addressed international law relating to terrorism. Michael Wermuth reviewed federal statutes related to quarantine and for the using of federal armed forces in civil support.
Foresman: Could military force be used in a law enforcement role irrespective of a Governor's request?
Wermuth: Yes. In fact it might be due to a Governor's failure to request support, and the incapacity of state or local law enforcement to be able to respond.
Jones: Is the request for approval by senior federal officials a case-by-case decision?
Wermuth: That is the case in specific statutes in the counter drug arena. The request has to come through federal agencies. It is not applicable to the two terrorism statutes I mentioned.
Embrey: Want to emphasize, "assist". That is a critical term here. We (DOD) are always under civilian authority. It is not a totalitarian type of action where DOD is going to sweep down and force assistance on anyone. There is a structure for this and I believe the structure that is preferred is the Stafford Act structure, even though it is not the specific law that authorizes the assistance. Dr. Hamre (Deputy Secretary of Defense) has been very clear, in recent open forums, to assure the populace that the massive size and capability of the military will be based in assistance and in the context of a crime that has occurred.
Wermuth: I cannot agree more with Ellen, but wanted to call attention to the existence of these statutes. They are on the books.
Falkenrath: The legal use of the military is not an issue. We have the legal authority to use the military, if we choose to. Other legal authorities are more critical. Can you appropriate private property? Can you force the use of medications? Can you compel the service of local responders, etc? There is really a long list. It is quite daunting from a legal perspective. I understand this is within the mandate of this panel, but is this really the purpose of the panel? Can we make a substantive contribution in this area?
Vice Chairman: We need to be aware of this, but should keep our focus on the first responder and the federal support for him or her.
Falkenrath: There is one other element. There is an explosion of laws in this area. State legislatures are also picking up this too and adding more laws, confusing things even further.
Maniscalco: The issue that gets clouded here that peaks my interest is we find different federal mandates that shortens the hair trigger when these assets may get dumped into the local community. This gets back to the first question of the morning, "Who's in charge," who's in command in this civil military interface? What role do we have as a commission to recommend coordination on this issue?
Quinlisk: I'd like to make one point. There are many of these things are already being addressed with other diseases. The issue of quarantine comes up with tuberculosis. Legal issues surround HIV. It's not a totally new concept. We can learn from what is being done out there.
IV. DOD Policy and Force Structure Issues.
Pam Berkowski, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Civil Support discussed:
Federal government organization
How DoD is approaching the problem
Reno: Do you have the authority you need to work effectively within DOD? Were Congress to give the resources, would it be to the nation's advantage?
Berkowski: Our approach all along has been to provide for first responders; government policy is to provide the resources, using the "teach them to fish" philosophy. This general approach works.
I don't know that we will ever 'divorce' DoD from this mission. DoD brings some assets that are extraordinarily cost prohibitive for other entities to duplicate, such as logistics, airlift, etc. I do not know if the private sector will ever pick that up.
Falkenrath: How do the National Guard teams fit in to the Joint Forces Command structure?
Berkowski: I'll defer to Brigadier General Lawlor on that. Vice Chairman: I would like to hear the answer to General Reno's first question.
Berkowski: This is a work in progress. I have two hats. First, as the assistant for civil support and second as the assistant chief of staff for the secretary. This is working. It is taking some time to get the word out. The coordination, integration and leverage approach is working. I also have the civilian oversight for Joint Task Force Civil Support. Defining this job is ongoing. Most of my authority emanates from my direct relationship with the secretary.
Foresman: You have managed to create a single point of contact within DoD on WMD terrorism. How are the other agencies doing? Is the same kind discipline in the other agencies such as HHS, etc?
Berkowski: No. It is often a problem, but it was a problem in DoD until last year.
Marsh: Justice has a major role in this. What is the interagency mechanism? Do you work with them?
Berkowski: We have close working relationships on numerous levels, with the Attorney general, the FBI, NDPO and others.
Jones: The RAID teams were originally 10, now 27. Is this the magic number? What is the vision?
Berkowski: We are quite satisfied with the 27 teams Congress has given us money for. This will provide coverage for the U.S. population.
BG Lawlor made a presentation on the organization and chain of command of Joint Task Force Civil Support
Vice Chairman: Thank you. This is great. What plans for reaching out to state and local folks do you have?
Lawlor: We are looking to our reserve components and we are reaching out to the national associations. We are coordinating through planning meetings and other interactions.
Foresman: If I ask for federal assistance when I have a hurricane, will I see you?
Lawlor: No sir.
Foresman: Whom am I going to see?
Lawlor: I couldn't answer that. My mission is exclusively focused on Weapons of Mass Destruction. Having said that, the CINC could turn to my task force and tell us to go help.
Foresman: I know you are just standing this up, but I would offer that one of the potential issues is that we are going to do business one way for WMD and other ways for other disasters. This panel went real heavy in the last report saying, let's not create new structures. I know that Kathleen would like to know the military person who will be on the street who will be helping her and they have a relationship. That was a great brief.
Berkowski: It is interesting how the pendulum swings. I think, by and large, we had it right for floods, fires, and hurricanes. Right now we are focused on WMD and my job is civil support, but we might envision the day when it is all under one person, one organization.
Jones: (To BG Lawler) You made reference to special event planning. We have had federalization in midstream before. Have you worked on this area?
Lawlor: My orders, from Admiral Gehman, are to work to keep the National Guard as a state asset. My coordination with the Adjutant Generals has been with that aim in mind.
Falkenrath: You mentioned command arrangements and covered them well. You did not talk about the pieces that will go into the response. If we delve one layer down, I think the capability of DoD will be limited. I'd like to get a sense of your feeling of the adequacy of this.
Lawlor: We have gamed large-scale events. The real question with regard to DoD assets is not sufficiency, but availability, or timeliness of response. You are absolutely right. There is a period of time when the state and local assets will be on their own. Unless there is a military installation nearby or a national special event, we will have some delays.
Reno: Let's look back at the chain of command in chart 13. Is this chain of command clear? Is the incident commander truly in charge?
(A discussion on chain of command, authority and accountability followed)
Vice Chairman: I take away that the DoD is organized. Are the other organizations equally organized?
Jones: Most jurisdictions in the United States use the Incident Command system. This makes who is in charge not a critical question.
V. Medical and Health Panel.
Chief Ed Plaugher, Arlington County Virginia Fire Department discussed field operations, the development of the metropolitan and national medical response teams and the current gap in hospital readiness for WMD incidents.
Dr Henry Sielgelson, Emory University Medical Center discussed hospital capabilities in dealing with hazardous materials.
Dr Patricia Quinlisk discussed the public health role in countering WMD terrorism including surveillance, communications, investigations, laboratory support and prevention/intervention strategies.
VI. NSC Update.
Dr Richard Clarke, Special Assistant to the President for Transnational Threats and National Coordinator for Infrastructure Protection and Counter terrorism provided a classified brief on the threat and national preparedness.
VII. Panel Activities/Workplan.
Mr. Wermuth presented a proposed outline of the next panel report and the work needed to lead to that report.
O'Brien: Perhaps we should identify how we envision a system that is functioning well and then assess how we meet those ideas today.
Falkenrath: I agree with that. This outline is too linear and mechanistic. We need to lay out what we think would be adequate and then judge how we measure up to it. To evaluate what we think the baseline should be and evaluate against that. I would like to have some more focus on that. I have only thought on this for a few minutes; but, perhaps, we could also organize by weapon types. That might give us a more fine grain assessment of where we are.
Reno: I share both these thoughts. As I listen to these briefers, and each owns a little piece, I don't think any of them can truly explain the whole system. (Reno provided an example of work he did in Hungary.) We need to build a framework here and describe a holistic and fully integrated system then measures our capability against that.
Wermuth: We had a little bit of this discussion in December. What I think you have described is that this panel is willing to consider writing the national strategy on this subject?
Reno: That is what I am suggesting.
Wermuth: Our legislative mandate does allow us to recommend strategies. There is no national strategy that exists now for us to measure against. We could take this through all the necessary pieces and see how the panel thinks the end piece should look and then evaluate against that picture.
Foresman: Three things. What is the best physical process for the panel to make this happen? We don't want to micromanage the federal government on organization. No mater what, the administration will change in January and we may provide the continuity if we truly want to do the right thing by the American people.
Quinlisk: If we look at strategies, I think we will have to deal with the different types of terrorism differently. Perhaps we should look at what else is being worked on for strategy and make sure we are aware of this.
Falkenrath: It is in our mandate. I have yet to see a coherent end state. I think this would be an important service. Perhaps we can have relationships and strategies in part 2 and means to get there in part 3.
Maniscalco: This ties in with a discussion last week. Lots of what exists is based on anecdotal information and not fact. We should define what needs to be accomplished and what the critical factors are to reach that goal.
Downey: We have heard a lot of people in the past year. What haven't we done? We have not really reached out to the first responder to assess their capability.
Wermuth: The U. S. National Strategy released by the White House in the end of December paid some lip service to this issue with a placeholder that said the NSC was defining and refining a strategy for dealing with terrorism. NDPO, in comments to the first report, said it was going to undertake to write a national strategy on response to terrorism, but has more recently backed off that. What I am suggesting is that the panel, in going in this direction, is talking about drawing up the end state and goals for a national strategy.
Embrey: In addition to Congress, The President also receives this report.
Wermuth: Perhaps we want to deliver the next report to the President and the President elect in addition to then other recipients. We can make the necessary statutory gates in assessing training, equipment, etc., and include all that is needed in the next report. We'll end up including all that is needed. We can recast this outline as needed.
Foresman: We may need to jump to the assessment part of this. Based on what I am hearing, perhaps at the next meeting the panel needs to develop this strategy so RAND can spend some months assessing current programs against the strategy.
Wermuth: Let me call your attention to Tab 7, as an example of one of our analytical tools; this one is for the Department of Agriculture. This one on USDA is a sample, to give you a flavor of how this type tool can supports the panel's deliberations.
O'Brien: I can really see how a product like this can be really helpful to Congressional staff, Congress and administration. I think this is very legitimate for us to use this as staff work, and to say it was used for the panel to reach its conclusions.
Wermuth: Would this be useful to the panel, as a tool. I think I am hearing you would like it as a tool to assess very agencies and programs.
Falkenrath: I think this is a vital input, but would not be a part of the body of the report. To take this one step further, the report could have chapter one with the end state and subsequent chapters organized by weapon type. Each weapon is quite different, as we all know. Within that we could have subheadings.
Embrey: I do not know if you have talked about the activities of the panel and research efforts while I was gone, but I want RAND to support you in what you want. In the interest of staying within budget, I would caution further efforts until we define what the panel wants RAND to do.
Wermuth: As part of the program assessments, and to take the report to the next level, I ask you to look at Tab 6 for a draft taxonomy. It is a two level spreadsheet, with agencies and sub-agencies on the left, and areas of interest across the top. We will color code each for effectiveness. Green, Yellow, Red, depending on status. This will then be a visual chart to depict program status. This could end up being a complete view of the federal governments efforts. This could also be done for Congress to describe the interrelations on this subject within Congress.
Marsh: A comment. As you move toward a strategy, keep an inventory of any statutory changes needed.
Wermuth: In addition to programmatic assessments, we need outreach. This is an updated version of the possible survey.
(Wermuth and other RAND staff described the survey process and structure, and a discussion followed on survey samples)
Falkenrath: How do we measure progress and success? This is not like the drug trade where we can measure the price of cocaine. Perhaps RAND can come up with statistical indicators that we can use to score cities. Do we need to score each metropolitan area?
Wermuth: To address your use of scoring, correct me if I am wrong, but we are not scoring preparedness at any level. The undertaking is to assess federal programs, but I don't think that includes scoring the response capabilities.
Downey: We want to see how the federal programs are doing. We do need to measure how the federal programs have improved capability over time.
Wermuth: Whether it is through the survey tool or case studies, we clearly can get into detail on the areas that have been affected.
Marsh: I have a question that has bothered me. There is confusion on the two Congressional Commissions on related subjects. Are we ships passing in the night or are we cross walking with that other committee.
Wermuth: We are in close coordination and, in fact, are cross-fertilized. Jerry Bremer, chairman of the counter terrorism commission is a member of this commission. They are focused primarily on the international area, looking at foreign terrorist groups and international response. Ours is, of course, domestic.
Embrey: On the subject of surveys, having gone through a number of surveys sponsored by DOD, we need to make sure we consider the credentials of the respondent, and we should also define what we mean by enhancing capability.
VIII. Collateral Activities.
Ted Macklin, DOJ and Ann Martin, FEMA, Exercise Coordinators for Exercise TOPOFF provided a brief on the "no-notice" domestic WMD response exercise, TOPOFF.
Vice Chairman: Would it be possible for the panel to send observers for some of this exercise? Our RAND compatriots could do this for us, and some panel members are also interested in being observers.
Macklin: We would welcome it.
Wermuth: I will work with you on that.
Martin: We will have an outreach at each location also. We can also get you drafts of hot wash reports, as needed.
Reno: Your brief says you will evaluate IAW applicable national plans. Do you have a set of national standards as metrics that you will be using we can see?
Macklin: We have the federal response plan. We are close to an FBI CONPLAN and set of domestic guidelines.
Martin: We have a capabilities assessment for readiness, which does set forth some standards. We would be happy to provide you that self-assessment document.
IX. Administrative Matters.
Vice Chairman: Mike has proposed, and I think it is not a bad idea, that we constitute a sub panel to look at survey structure. I suggest that O'Brien, Maniscalco, Falkenrath, Foresman, and Quinlisk participate. Rather than try to resolve the survey question today, I'll ask these folks to meet with RAND on this.
Wermuth: We, RAND, have an obligation to tell the panel what additional funds will be necessary for surveys. On the issue of the date for next meeting….
Foresman: I am aware that you cannot schedule ten days ahead. I will provide some possible dates for the next meeting in the near future.
Wermuth: We are still working on the windows that the Governor provided earlier.
We really ran through things today. Recognizing that you have to absorb so much, I really think we need to go to one and a half or two days for each meeting in the future.
Vice Chairman: I think we can do a lot if we straddle an evening and go to at least one and a half days, perhaps at one end of the week or the other.
The panel agreed to meet for at least a day and a half for future meetings.
A decision on the next meeting date was deferred until schedules can be coordinated.
A motion to adopt the minutes of the December meeting was made and seconded, and adopted unanimously.
Meeting adjourned at 1715.