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America the Resilient: Defying Terrorism and Mitigating Natural Disasters

This article, published in Foreign Affairs, characterizes the U.S. as an increasingly brittle country. Infrastructure is aging and is not appropriately maintained, fewer people keep reserves of cash or food in the event of an emergency as the number of ATMs and 24-hour supermarkets increase, and national defense is becoming an increasingly secretive matter. Instead, it advocates prioritizing greater resilience across the country, including increasing the capacity for operating during an emergency (robustness), managing the disaster as it occurs (resourcefulness), returning to normal quickly and efficiently after a crisis (rapid recovery), and learning from past events. Such an initiative, which means the active involvement of federal actors and civil society, will allow the U.S. to better mitigate the effects of natural disasters and confidently defy threats of terrorism.

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