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We're in new territory," says one senior officer, the entire post-9/11 paradigm of emergency planning thrown out the window. The officer jokes, in the kind of morbid humor characteristic of this slow-moving disaster, that America had better learn who Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy is.
Coronavirus is ... new territory, where the military itself is vulnerable and the disaster scenarios being contemplated -- including the possibility of widespread domestic violence as a result of food shortages -- are forcing planners to look at what are called "extraordinary circumstances".
In the the past, almost every imagined contingency associated with emergency preparedness has assumed civil and military assistance coming from the outside. One military officer involved in continuity planning calls it a "cavalry" mentality: that military assistance is requested or ordered after local civil authority has been exhausted.
"There might not be an outside," the officer says, asking that she not be named because she is speaking about sensitive matters.
On February 1, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper signed orders directing NORTHCOM to execute nationwide pandemic plans. Secretly, he signed Warning Orders (the WARNORD as it's called) alerting NORTHCOM and a host of east coast units to "prepare to deploy" in support of potential extraordinary missions.
In scenarios where one city or one region is devastated, that's a pretty straightforward process," the military planner told me. "But with coronavirus, where the effect is nationwide, we're in territory we've never been in before."
plans state that the government continues essential functions under all circumstances, even if that is with the devolved second string or under temporary military command. One of the "national essential functions", according to Federal Continuity Directive 1 is that the government "provid[e] leadership visible to the Nation and the world ... [while] maintaining the trust and confidence of the American people" The question is whether a faceless elite could ever provide that confidence, preserving government command but also adding to public panic. That could be a virus too.
maintaining the trust and confidence of the American people"
originally posted by: DoctorBluechip
Take a look at his picture , which as usual speaks a thousand words .