According to the chairman of a national panel on terrorism, however, the United States lacks a clear plan for meeting the needs of its citizens in the event of a terrorist attack, and the hodgepodge of local and federal agencies makes it unclear who is in charge of the existing program.
The federal government originally decided whom to train and configured the training program. In so doing, it did not consider the fact that many local communities cooperate under mutual assistance agreements. Furthermore, under the current program, personnel in more than 50 percent of the major U.S. population centers will remain untrained and unprepared for any future nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) attack.
The most significant shortcoming of the Nunn‐Lugar‐Domenici law is the complete lack of any educational program to prepare the public for an NBC attack. Although the public is the ultimate target of any terrorist attack, average citizens are left ignorant of the fundamentals of preparedness that even the lowest private in the U.S. Army is taught for survival. The lack of any credible public education program in matters of awareness and response violates many entrenched principles of emergency management.