Secrecy News

Presidential Directive on “National Preparedness”

The Obama Administration today released the text of Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 8 (pdf) on “National Preparedness.”  The Directive, signed by President Obama on March 30, generally calls for development of systematic response plans for natural and manmade disasters, and seeks to enlist broad engagement in the process.

“This directive is aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation, including acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters. Our national preparedness is the shared responsibility of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and individual citizens. Everyone can contribute to safeguarding the Nation from harm . As such, while this directive is intended to galvanize action by the Federal Government, it is also aimed at facilitating an integrated, all-of-Nation, capabilities-based approach to preparedness.”

From a secrecy policy perspective, two points may be noted.

First, while presidential directives are fundamental instruments of national policy, the Obama White House does not make them available on the White House web site.  You can find the names of hundreds of thousands of tourists who visited the White House and other information of questionable value and utility, but you cannot find a collection of unclassified directives issued by President Obama.  This is incongruous.

Second, it is noteworthy that the new Presidential Policy Directive is only the eighth one to be issued by the Obama Administration.  At this point in the third year of the George W. Bush Administration, around 25 presidential directives (NSPDs) had been issued.  And in the Clinton Administration, there had been around 35 directives (PDDs).  So this Administration is using directives much more sparingly, for reasons that are hard to discern from a distance.

3 thoughts on “Presidential Directive on “National Preparedness”

  1. Another political joke? This National preparedness routine smells to high heaven especially in light of our completly open border system that leaves us barren protection wise as demonstrated with continual influx of illegal aliens, armed border incursions and extended drug trafficing.
    This is nothing more than strength on paper.

  2. I am — astonished. And envious: I want to know what hallucinogens are being used in the WH these days.

    Do those guys, including the one whose name is at the bottom of the
    document, have any idea of the scope and expense of a serious study on the topic? Let alone the magnitude of the bureaucratic effort and, again, expense that implementation would entail?

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