Lessons for US cities from antiterror drills

When a sharp explosion rang out across a grungy Seattle warehouse district this week, and moon-suited firefighters rushed to rescue actors spattered with fake blood, it started the biggest homeland-security “war game” ever staged in the US – and underscored the importance of mock exercises in helping the nation gird for any new terror attack. Just as NATO used to roll its tanks across Europe in fictional battles with Soviet troops, domestic war games are proliferating in the post-9/11 era. Soon, first responders and local officials in cities across the country may be battling mock dirty bombs or bio-terror attacks. Critics worry about straining precious resources. Yet already the exercises have helped define or refine key terror-fighting lessons:

• In the wake of a bioterror attack, for instance, officials might be tempted to impose quarantines. But drills suggest they’re risky – and can spark civilian violence against authorities. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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