Monday, September 26, 2005

Wrong solution for the problem

Because the response to Hurricane Katrina was FUBAR, President Bush wants the Pentagon to become the lead agency in disaster response. I thought that was FEMA's job. Gee, maybe if a subject matter expert on disasters was in charge instead of a political crony, we wouldn't have this problem. FEMA worked during the Clinton years, it worked in response to Hurricane Rita. FEMA worked in 2004 when four hurricanes hit Florida, even counties that were not affected by the hurricanes were declared disaster areas. What a difference an election year makes.

Gee, what could have been the problem with Katrina? Maybe someone's priorities were not in order? It is apparent, despite the breakdown, that FEMA does work when it is politically expedient. Or when the President wants the Federal government to work, which goes back to political expediency. President Bush only cared that FEMA worked when his poll numbers went down.

The DoD's job is to break things and kill people. With its commitments overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, it is overworked as it is. If there is a need for a rapid deployment force in the event of a disaster, natural or man-made, maybe the National Guard should fall under the command and control of the Department of Homeland Security. Why not? The Coast Guard falls under the command and control of DHS.

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