|WINNER OF THE LOUIS BROWNLOW BOOK AWARD!
The massive bureaucratic reorganization under the Department of Homeland Security was a response to the system-wide coordination problems brought to light on 9/11. Better planning, new leadership, and far-reaching reform were to demonstrate that the U.S. had learned its lessons well, that it would be prepared for the next attack or disaster. But the catastrophic response to Hurricane Katrina unequivocally showed how this restructuring has not brought about the kinds of long term policy changes that are necessary to deal effectively and efficiently with threats--whether manmade or natural.
Is the system permanently broken? Should FEMA be removed from DHS or abolished altogether? Donald Kettl, in this thoroughly updated second edition, takes a hard look at the most recent stress on the system. He explores how the 9/11 Commission forever changed public discourse on the topic as well as discusses the ways in which FEMA might be reformed. The country faces solvable problems, he argues, yet is in dire need of new leadership at every level. In his brief, gripping narrative, Kettl assesses how well the U.S. political system responds under extraordinary pressure and asks if the focus will continue to be on fighting the last war. There is small chance the catastrophe that lies ahead will replicate the last one. Is the government ready to face that next challenge?