Thursday, December 11, 2008

Worthwhile Reading: "Marrying Prevention and Resiliency"

There's some good food for thought in this occasional paper from RAND, which advocates a "hybrid" approach to prevention and mitigation:

Instead of seeing an either/or choice between traditional prevention and mitigation or resiliency measures, it is more productive to consider them together in an integrated way—as two complementary elements of a strategy aimed at lessening the consequences of successful terrorist attacks. Doing so essentially stretches the concept of prevention beyond the ideal of halting attacks before they happen to also include efforts to limit the human and economic costs of even successful attack operations.
It's not a terribly long read, and it's worth the time.

We still haven't found the right balance of prevention, mitigation, and response. The unfortunate political reality is: It's much too easy to allow preventive efforts to devolve into "security theater"; it's much to easy to give short-shrift to mitigation, despite the effectiveness of many mitigatory efforts, because mitigation almost always lacks sex appeal; and it's much too easy to overemphasize response, since everybody wants to take the credit for a successful response to the inevitable disasters and nobody wants to take the blame for an unsuccessful one.

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