Redefining Security in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina


a panel discussion with

ANITA DANCS, Research Director, National Priorities Project


MIRIAM PEMBERTON, Research Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies and Peace and Security Editor, Foreign Policy In Focus


WILLIAM D. HARTUNG, President’s Fellow, World Policy Institute

In his first major speech after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, President Bush suggested that natural disasters are now "a national security issue." While this suggests a willingness to put a higher priority on dealing with catastrophic elemental phenomena, the notion of using traditional military forces and methods for this purpose raises troubling questions about the role of the military (and military contractors) in a democracy. This panel will discuss the potential for re-defining security to include protection against all major threats to the lives of American citizens and our allies, ranging from terrorist threats to natural disasters to epidemics of deadly diseases. A key element of a new approach would be to recruit competent people who are adequately funded to address the unique aspects of each kind of threat. Already, military contractors like Boeing and military services like the Army have begun to adopt rhetoric about using expensive, high-tech military systems for purposes of disaster relief. Is this the best way to go? The panel will discuss this and other key security questions raised by Hurricane Katrina.

Thursday, October 27, 2005, 6:00-7:30 p. m. Swayduck Auditorium, first floor, 65 Fifth Avenue (between East 13-14th sts.). Admission is $5.00.

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