An All-of-Government Approach to
Increase Resilience for International
Chemical, Biological, Radiological,
Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) Events
A WORKSHOP SUMMARY
Sherrie Forrest and Mark Lange, Rapporteurs
Steering Committee on An All-of-Government Approach to Increase Resilience for International
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) Events
Division on Earth and Life Studies
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Contract/Grant No. 60NANB12D293 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
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Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2014). An All-of-Government Approach to Increase Resilience for International Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) Events: A Workshop Summary. Sherrie Forrest and Mark Lange, Rapporteurs. Steering Committee on An All-of-Government Approach to Increase Resilience for International Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) Events, Division on Earth and Life Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C.D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
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The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C.D. Mote, Jr. are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
Steering Committee on An All-of-Government Approach to Increase Resilience for International Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) Events
Dr. Gerry E. Galloway Jr. (NAE), Chair, Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park
Dr. John Carrano, President, Carrano Consulting
Dr. Bert Coursey, Program Manager, Coordinated National Security Standards Program (Retired), National Institute of Standards and Technology
Hon. Sherri W. Goodman, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, CNA Analysis & Solutions
Ms. Ann Lesperance, Deputy Director Regional Programs, Northwest Regional Technology Center for Homeland Security, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Dr. Randall S. Murch, Associate Director, Research Program Development, Office of the Vice President for Research, National Capital Region Operations, VA Polytechnic Institute and State University
Hon. Andrew Natsios, Executive Professor and Scowcroft Institute Fellow, Texas A&M University
Dr. Gregory S. Parnell, Professor of Systems Engineering, U.S. Military Academy, West Point
Mr. Brent H. Woodworth, President/CEO, Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Foundation
Lauren Alexander Augustine, Director, Program on Risk, Resilience, and Extreme Events, and Associate Executive Director, Division on Earth and Life Studies
Micah Lowenthal, Director, Committee on International Security and Arms Control
Sherrie Forrest, Program Officer, Program on Risk, Resilience, and Extreme Events, National Research Council
John H. Brown, Jr., Program and Administrative Manager, Program on Risk, Resilience, and Extreme Events, National Research Council
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high-yield Explosive (CBRNE) events have the potential to destabilize governments, create conditions that exacerbate violence, or promote terrorism. This can trigger global repercussions. These events can quickly overwhelm the infrastructure and capability of the responders, especially in countries that do not have specialized resources for response. Effective response to CBRNE events is a U.S. national security priority as outlined in the National Security Strategy (White House, 2010) and National Strategy for Counterterrorism (White House, 2011). When a CBRNE incident occurs in a partner nation or other foreign country, the United States will likely be called upon to provide assistance. The United States wants to help save lives and alleviate suffering through its humanitarian efforts. In terms of national security, more efficient response to CBRNE attacks may ultimately reduce the incentive for those who would initiate them.
Interoperability—the ability to work together—among U.S. agencies, foreign governments, and responders involved in the effort is key to an efficient response. The effectiveness of the U.S. response and approach to CBRNE events in partner nations depends on (1) the capability of the U.S. government to provide timely and appropriate assistance, (2) the resilience of the partner nation to a CBRNE event, and (3) the ability of the partner nation to absorb external assistance.
At the request of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences formed a steering committee (see Appendix C) tasked with organizing and conducting a workshop to discuss ways to strengthen the United States ability to prepare for and respond to CBRNE events that occur in U.S. partner nations. The statement of task (Appendix B) directs the steering committee to explore approaches to understanding or determining baseline conditions of resilience to CBRNE events, and common metrics or other measures of resilience to CBRNE events, in an effort to increase interoperability across U.S. agencies and other entities. After careful consideration, the steering committee concluded that it could only partially address two of the items from the original statement of task at this workshop. First, the steering committee did not specifically address explosives (the “E” in CBRNE) because it determined that issues associated with explosives were distinct from those associated with CBRN events and that there was not adequate time to address all of these events in one workshop. Second, the steering committee concluded that
addressing the task of articulating some common measures or reference points to assess a country’s resilience required a more thorough understanding of the key capabilities and best practices for an all of U.S. government response to CBRNE events in foreign nations. As this workshop was envisioned as the first activity in a series of activities that focus on response to international CBRNE incidents, the steering committee determined that the workshop should initially focus on the following topics as a first step toward further examination of developing metrics and measures of resilience. The workshop brought together diverse experts and stakeholders to:
- Identify capabilities that are necessary for responding to an international CBRN event.
- Discuss best practices and resources needed for improved interoperability of the United States and partner nations during response to a CBRN event.
- Identify key questions that need to be addressed in follow-up activities to this workshop that focus on improving U.S. CBRN response in partner nations.
The committee met in person and over the phone to define and organize a high-level workshop that was held at the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, DC on June 20-21, 2013 (see Appendix A for the workshop agenda). The first day of the workshop consisted of two keynote lectures followed by a panel discussion. Audio and video of the proceedings were broadcast online and questions were taken from both the in-house and remote audience. The afternoon consisted of four concurrent breakout sessions with each group asked to address the following three questions:
- What capabilities are needed for effective CBRN response in a partner nation?
- What are the gaps in capabilities?
- What is needed to improve U.S. efforts for coordinated response to CBRN events in partner nations?
Each group presented its key points to the larger group, and Dr. Gerry Galloway, chair of the workshop steering committee, provided an initial synthesis of the overarching themes. The second day of the workshop was organized around small workgroups consisting of a subset of the first day’s participants. The small workgroups further refined and prioritized the key issues and questions identified the previous day.
As an initial step to explore ways to improve an all of U.S. government approach to international CBRN response, the goal of the workshop was to start the important work of documenting CBRN response capabilities and gaps that need to be addressed to improve U.S. coordination.
ABOUT THIS WORKSHOP SUMMARY
The workshop presentations and discussions are summarized in three chapters. Chapters 1 and 2 present information in keynote addresses and panel discussions regarding the capabilities and best practices needed for an effective and coordinated response to international CBRN
events. Chapter 3 recaps the discussions from breakout sessions, including a synthesis of the key issues that arose during the workshop. This workshop summary was prepared by independent rapporteurs and is confined to the material presented and discussed at the workshop. The workshop was not designed to generate recommendations or conclusions nor does this summary contain recommendations or conclusions by the steering committee, which was responsible only for the selection of speakers and organization of the agenda. This summary is not a comprehensive review of all facets of response to international CBRN events and the range of views expressed at the workshop were limited by the time available for discussion. The workshop captures the current thinking regarding international CBRN events as expressed by the workshop participants.
White House. 2010. National Security Strategy. Available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/national_security_strategy.pdf.
White House. 2011. Strategy for Counterterrorism. Available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/counterterrorism_strategy.pdf.
This workshop summary reflects discussions at a workshop convened by the Division on Earth and Life Studies of the National Research Council (NRC) on June 21 and June 22, 2013. We would like to thank the individuals who served on the steering committee, each of whom brought deep and varied expertise to the process of developing and organizing the event. We gratefully acknowledge their time and assistance in planning an informative and engaging program. We thank: Gerry E. Galloway Jr. (chair), John Carrano, Bert Coursey, the Honorable Sherri W. Goodman, Ann Lesperance, Randall S. Murch, the Honorable Andrew Natsios, Gregory S. Parnell, and Brent H. Woodworth. We also thank the National Institute of Standards and Technology, who generously supported this effort.
The program’s success was due to the many speakers, panelists, and other participants who donated their time and expertise to inform salient discussion on these important issues. The speakers and panelists were highlights of the workshop and deserve credit and our gratitude. We thank Major General Julie Bentz, Daniel Blumenthal, Martin Cetron, Charles Donnell, Chad Gorman, Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Brian Lewis, the Honorable Paul Stockton, Colonel Patrick Terrell, and Brent Woodworth for their insightful presentations and discussion. We also thank the moderators and other speakers, Gerry Galloway and Ann Lesperence, and National Research Council staff, John Boright, Executive Director of International Affairs.
The success of this workshop would not have been possible without the invaluable contributions from Micah Lowenthal, Director of the NAS Committee on International Security and Arms Control, whose collaboration and guidance was essential in developing and directing this activity. We also gratefully thank NRC staff members for their time and attention to supporting all of the activities throughout the day: John Brown, Jr., Sherrie Forrest, Eric Edkin Jo Husbands, Mark Lange, Orin Luke, Ben Rusek, and Thao Tran.
This workshop summary has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published summary as sound as possible and to ensure that the summary meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. I would like to thank the following individuals for their review of this workshop summary: John F. Ahearne, Sigma
Xi, The Scientific Research Society; Mark Bartolini, former Director, U.S. AID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance; Gerald Epstein, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Ann Lesperance, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; and Brian Lewis, U.S. Department of State.
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the summary nor did they see the final draft of the summary before its release. The review of this summary was overseen by John R. Harrald of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this workshop summary was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this summary rests entirely with the authors and the institution.
Lauren Alexander Augustine
Director, Program on Risk, Resilience, and
Extreme Events, and Associate Executive
Director, Division on Earth and Life Studies