Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996
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The Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996, also known as the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Amendment (Amendment No. 4349; Senate June 26, 1996; House June 27, 1996), was introduced as an alternative to the Defend America Act of 1996, which failed to pass in the House of Representatives. The bill was introduced by Congress to prevent terrorists attacks that would include Weapons of Mass Destruction and to enhance emergency response.
Since 9/11, America realized that terrorists are able to attack with Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). However, the federal government lacks emergency response and training. Shortly after the attacks, President Bush established the Department Homeland Security and indicated the importance of first responders trainings and financial support in order to protect America.In the Fiscal Year 2003, President Bush requested “$3.5 billion to assist first responders, an increase that is greater than 10 times the amount spent in previous budgets.”
On April 8, 1997,H. Allen Holmes,assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, said in a Speech to the Sam Nunn Policy Council, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology, Athens, GA: "The Nunn-Lugar-Domenici amendment to the FY [fiscal year] 97 National Defense Authorization Act provides essential authority for us to address our domestic vulnerabilities."
Still, first responder training has faced some problems including: 1. Lack of knowledge- no coordinated programs- only one facility, the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Alabama offered hands-on training 2. Expensive programs – most of the first responders are volunteers- classes high cost 3. Lack of coordination – only specific cities targeted but others were left out 
Articles and resources
- Sam Nunn
- Pete V. Domenici
- Richard G. Lugar
- National Security Strategy of September 2002
- National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction (2002)
- Preemptive war
- 1996 Congressional Floor Debate: Includes various documents related to history of the Amendment.
- Michael Scardaville and Jack Spencer, Meeting the Needs of America's Crucial First Responders, Heritage Foundation, May 13, 2002.
- Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Domestic Preparedness and WMD Civil Support Teams, Map of Domestic Preparedness Programs, Monterey Institute of International Studies. Plus sections on "Domestic Preparedness": Includes Cities with Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Domestic Preparedness Funding, Cities which have Received training and one exercise, and Cities with No Program Activities as of March 20, 2001; and National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams. Site last updated October 2001.