Yet the system, at every level of government, was not well-coordinated, and was overwhelmed in the first few days. It is now clear that a challenge on this scale requires greater federal authority and a broader role for the armed forces -- the institution of our government most capable of massive logistical operations on a moment's notice.
From the US Military's Northern Command website:
So, what are we looking into with regard to a military role in disaster relief/preparedness? Isn't their support already authorized.
The Department of Defense established U.S. Northern Command in 2002 to consolidate under a single unified command existing missions that were previously executed by other military organizations.
The command's mission is homeland defense and civil support, specifically:
- Conduct operations to deter, prevent, and defeat threats and aggression aimed at the United States, its territories, and interests within the assigned area of responsibility; and
- As directed by the President or Secretary of Defense, provide defense support of civil authorities including consequence management operations.
U.S. Northern Command plans, organizes, and executes homeland defense and civil support missions, but has few permanently assigned forces. The command will be assigned forces whenever necessary to execute missions as ordered by the President.