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.[1]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.”[2]

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 [3]

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See also


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]

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External articles