Unity of command for federal consequence management
Lucie, Harold Quinton
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The United States eventually will face an existential catastrophe. An existential catastrophe would result in cascading effects extending well beyond the physical boundaries of the event. When studying the federal response to major disasters, it is apparent higher levels of presidential interest provide a positive impact on results. The lack of coordination of federal response efforts and the inability of the president to impose his will to marshal fully federal resources effectively were major problems identified after Hurricanes Katrina and Andrew. The inability of the federal government to coordinate the federal response efficiently to a catastrophe appears throughout 60 years of modern federal disaster response. This thesis argues the most efficient way for the president to supervise the federal response to an existential catastrophe is to delegate authority for operational decisions to a single federal official that would allow the president and his cabinet to focus on strategic decisions. The Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator, who would be supported by an empowered Emergency Support Function Leadership Group, with authority to direct all agency capabilities released to them by the president and their agencies, would lead the portion of the federal operational response formerly known as consequence management.
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