Brittle, Not Prepared
The United States has become “a brittle superpower,” says Stephen Flynn, author of the new book The Edge of Disaster. He means brittle in the sense of not being prepared to respond to adversity. Flynn’s views on “resiliency” as it relates to preparedness may be familiar to Government Security readers (see “America the Resilient,” May 2005 issue, available at govtsecurity.com).
Flynn’s book is yet another wake-up call from our “national state of complacency.” He calls on our leaders (and ourselves) to prepare for the next, inevitable disaster.
Flynn points out a paradox in our federal government’s eagerness to invest in the “war on terrorism” coupled with its almost total abandonment of efforts to manage disaster preparedness, a burden it leaves to state and local governments.
“The loss of life and economic fallout that disasters reap will always be magnified by our lack of preparedness,” Flynn says. We have seen it already, he says, and we will see it again.
Maybe the progress some local jurisdictions have made related to communications interoperability is a step toward being prepared (see Cover Story, page 12).