May 22, 1998
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Annapolis, Maryland)
For Immediate Release
May 22, 1998
COMBATING TERRORISM: PRESIDENTIAL DECISION DIRECTIVE 62
Since he took office, President Clinton has made the fight against terrorism a top national security objective. The President has worked to deepen our cooperation with our friends and allies abroad, strengthened law enforcement's counterterrorism tools and improved security on airplanes and at airports. These efforts have paid off as major terrorist attacks have been foiled and more terrorists have been apprehended, tried and given severe prison terms.
Yet America's unrivaled military superiority means that potential enemies -- whether nations or terrorist groups -- that choose to attack us will be more likely to resort to terror instead of conventional military assault. Moreover, easier access to sophisticated technology means that the destructive power available to terrorists is greater than ever. Adversaries may thus be tempted to use unconventional tools, such as weapons of mass destruction, to target our cities and disrupt the operations of our government. They may try to attack our economy and critical infrastructure using advanced computer technology.
President Clinton is determined that in the coming century, we will be capable of deterring and preventing such terrorist attacks. The President is convinced that we must also have the ability to limit the damage and manage the consequences should such an attack occur.
To meet these challenges, President Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive 62. This Directive creates a new and more systematic approach to fighting the terrorist threat of the next century. It reinforces the mission of the many U.S. agencies charged with roles in defeating terrorism; it also codifies and clarifies their activities in the wide range of U.S. counter-terrorism programs, from apprehension and prosecution of terrorists to increasing transportation security, enhancing response capabilities and protecting the computer-based systems that lie at the heart of America's economy. The Directive will help achieve the President's goal of ensuring that we meet the threat of terrorism in the 21st century with the same rigor that we have met military threats in this century.
The National Coordinator
To achieve this new level of integration in the fight against terror, PDD-62 establishes the Office of the National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counter-Terrorism. The National Coordinator will oversee the broad variety of relevant polices and programs including such areas as counter-terrorism, protection of critical infrastructure, preparedness and consequence management for weapons of mass destruction. The National Coordinator will work within the National Security Council, report to the President through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and produce for him an annual Security Preparedness Report. The National Coordinator will also provide advice regarding budgets for counter-terror programs and lead in the development of guidelines that might be needed for crisis management.
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Presidential Decision Directive-62
The following is an unclassified abstract derived from Presidential Decision Directive-62 (PDD-62), "Protection Against Unconventional Threats to the Homeland and Americans Overseas," dated May 22, 1998.
The full text of PDD-62 is a CLASSIFIED document. State and local officials should understand that PDD-62 reaffirms PDD-39, "United States Policy on Counterterrorism," signed June 21, 1995. As such, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will continue to serve as the Lead Federal Agency for "crisis management" and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will continue to serve as the Lead Federal Agency for "consequence management."
It is increasingly likely that terrorist groups, or individuals with criminal intent, may use unconventional methods to disrupt the Nation's critical infrastructure or use weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against our citizens.
As these types of threats mature, it is necessary to prepare to deter them, prevent them from occurring, or, if need be, limit the damage to a minimum. Success is dependent upon possessing the capability for an integrated response, and in the case of critical infrastructure protection, having public/private partnerships.
2. Present Achievements and Current Challenges
• An increased rate of apprehensions and convictions;Current Challenges:
• An increase in counterterrorism legislative authorities;
• An increase in the funding for consequence management planning;
• An increase in the importance of terrorism on the diplomatic agenda;
• Growth of assistance to, and cooperation with, other democracies in combating terrorism; and
• Improving and expanding a professionally trained interagency cadre.
• Terrorist groups may choose asymmetrical attacks on our domestic and international vulnerabilities, through the use of WMD and/or cyber warfare;3. Consequences Management
• Terrorist groups possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to use WMD;
• Former "cold war" civil defense programs have been downsized or dismantled, and cities are not prepared to deal with a large-scale event;
• Improvements in technology will make it difficult for law enforcement agencies to detect and prevent terrorist acts; and
• The Nation's critical infrastructure relies heavily on the use of computers, which are prone to cyber attacks.
In the event of a terrorism incident, the Federal Government will respond rapidly, working with State and local governments, to restore order and deliver emergency assistance. FEMA, the Lead Federal Agency for consequence management, is responsible for preparing for and responding to the consequences of a WMD incident with participation of other departments and agencies including the Public Health Service (PHS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Department of Energy (DOE), as necessary. The Department of Justice (DOJ), through the FBI, is the Lead Federal Agency for crisis management and operational response to a weapon of mass destruction incident.
Domestically, key Federal agencies and Departments, through interagency efforts, will continue training and providing equipment to first responders to prepare them for response to WMD incidents. Emphasis will be placed on preparing those responders in the largest 120 cities.
The Department of Defense, in coordination with other Federal Departments and agencies, will provide training to metropolitan first responders and will maintain trained military units to assist State and local responders. One example is the National Guard concept of initially forming 10 Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection (RAID) teams in each FEMA Region. These teams are designed to provide rapid response to a WMD incident and assist State and local responders.
PHS, in the Department of Health and Human Services, is the Lead Federal Agency in planning and preparing for response to WMD-related medical emergencies. PHS will continue supporting State and local governments in developing Metropolitan Medical Strike Teams; maintaining the National Disaster Medical System; and, in conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs, stockpiling antidotes and pharmaceuticals in the event of a WMD incident.
DOJ, in coordination with FEMA, will provide equipment to State and local emergency responders.
5. Critical Infrastructure
It is imperative that the United States be adequately prepared to deal with attacks on critical infrastructure and cyber systems. As such, the President reviewed the recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection and has signed PDD-63, entitled Protecting America's Critical Infrastructures (PDD-63 is For Official Use Only). A white paper, entitled "The Clinton Administration's Policy on Critical Infrastructure Protection: Presidential Decision Directive-63," is available at www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/NSC/htm/NSCSDoo3.html. This white paper outlines the Administration's program to deal with threats to our Nation's critical infrastructure.
Update (2014): The declassified text of PDD 62 is available here.
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