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Responding to Catastrophic Terrorism

NCJ Number
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism Volume: 25 Issue: 4 Dated: July-August 2002 Pages: 245-261
Alice Hills
Bruce Hoffman
Date Published
June 2002
17 pages
This article discusses the utility of disaster management techniques and escalation theory in planning effective responses to catastrophic terrorism incidents.
The author argues that the current framework for terrorism response is inadequate to address catastrophic acts of terrorism. Catastrophic acts of terrorism are generally understood as to be defined as terrorist attacks which are quantitatively and qualitatively different from traditional bombings and hijackings and likely involve the use of nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons. Preparation for catastrophic acts of terrorism are closely related to protective measures know as critical infrastructure protection of CIP. The author explores the utility of using existing disaster management strategies as an infrastructure for future catastrophic terrorist attacks. Escalation theory is also discussed from the Cold War development of the concept to its more current applications. For the author, escalation provides a framework for response formulations. 1 Figure, 35 notes