Fundamentals of Defense Support of Civil Authorities - Paper Sample

Published: 2023-11-08
Fundamentals of Defense Support of Civil Authorities - Paper Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States Disaster Community Public administration
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1515 words
13 min read


During hurricane Katrina, the Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) had the most robust role in addressing the alarming issues and community needs that arose; however, the trial was in vain. In response to the natural disaster emergency, DSCA did not have the best strategies to cover the scenario; an unplanned approach was used to handle the civil and militia groups in community aid for the tragedy. DSCA only linked the civil authorities with what had happened and did not link these key players to what the community needs. This incidence calls out for the DSCA responsibility in case of any such occurrence in the future. It ought to have its best capability effort in coordinating their resources and power to the military personnel for community rescue (Army, 2012). The significant role that DSCA should have played during the Katrina hurricane was supporting civil authorities and agencies to their work (Wombwell, 2009). However, DSCA supported statistic collection of the affected. Among the major civil stakeholders in the hurricane response was the New Orleans Mayor, American President George Bush, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Governor to Louisiana County (Tkacz, 2020). This paper focus on identifying the failures of DSCA during the Katrina hurricane response. The research is based on the action weaknesses and how the response team conducted the poor intervention and in turn, recommend Fundamentals of Defense Support of Civil Authorities through evaluation of emergency roles associated with the military, civil authorities, and community during such a disaster.

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Evaluation of DSCA Response Actions

In accord with these civil staffs, the DSCA should have projected the criteria of promoting the efforts and actions played by these administrators towards the norm. In essence, DSCA should have made systemic and divided roles to each community welfare player for the effectiveness of life and property security (Tkacz, 2020). However, DSCA had blunt plans on the same. To the purpose of the community needs accomplishment, DSCA set out service commanders who did not work effectively in the military response squads during the Katrina hurricane (Tkacz, 2020). Instead of such commanders, community-based local leaders could have served better- the problem with this strategy is that the community did not have a good relationship with the armed forces (Army, 2012). Therefore the majority of citizens' needs were left out unattended.

Among the DSCA role gaps depicted during Katrina is how the DSCA clause should focus fundamentally on militia planning and civil authorization installment. DSCA is not just a response mechanism but a process where emergency agencies, particularly the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the regional governor's offices, should induct the militia assistance to the citizens during norms like the Katrina hurricane. However, in this Katrina case, weaknesses of DSCA approaching the military is dominant (Samaan & Verneuil, 2009).

As a process, the DSCA ought to ensure that the city administrators are competent to the community needs and the militia incorporation- in short, DSCA has a responsibility to act as a medium of linking the community, the civil authorities, and the military (Samaan & Verneuil, 2009). From the occurrence of the emergency up to where the community settled during Katrina, community needs were not even close to full grants; the DSCA failed in coordinating and guiding the civil administrators and the military for the best communal approach of the fundamental needs through field experience approach. (Army, 2012) A responsible DSCA should include the community and prioritize needs issued out and not the needs thought of without community consent.

How DSCA Failed Through Poor Response From Civil Authorities Responsibilities

The key players' roles were the critical determinants of the response actions and results for the hurricane disaster (Wombwell, 2009). Governor Kathleen Blanco, Mayor Ray Nagin, FEMA director Michael Brown and President Bush carried the action decision roles, but what they did was incorporate to the expected DSCA mandate (Tkacz, 2020). Mayor Ray had a part of reporting the exact severity of community conditions to Governor Blanco, including seeking emergency necessities for the New Orleans community from the Louisiana Governor who would, in turn, give the report and seek aid from President Bush (Army, 2012). In the same token, the governor was responsible for budget any of the inquired resources to the federal government and informed the military about the necessary support from them (Army, 2012). However, every one of these players had a betrayal of duty. The risk and needs report was not prepared. Neither was it passed from civil ranks to another (Tkacz, 2020). More importantly, the people of New Orleans suffered as their mayor. The Louisiana governor did not ask for any assistance from the President or the military and other aiding facilities.

DSCA failed due to poor communication between the described civil authorities (Samaan & Verneuil, 2009). It is fundamental for the DSCA to create a well-aligned communication channel for bettering reports and seeking aid in such incidents as Katrina. Smart communication could have helped develop a sound and joint task force that could quickly solve the New Orleans issues efficiently (Tkacz, 2020). On the same point, the service commanders who are the civil authorities affected the military response. Political leaders failed to communicate best to FEMA. This distorted the process of accessing the military as the President was limited to access command the army in such a scenario (Samaan & Verneuil, 2009). The only body that could assist in approaching the military was FEMA, which lacked information about the needs of the community. The mayor approached the President directly, and the request was informal. At the same time, the governor restricted the military to have even a single commander in the response team (Wombwell, 2009). Although the mayor and the governor were not in good political terms, DSCA ought to have been the link between the two for the people's needs, but such a platform does not exist.

FEMA had a responsibility in response to the hurricane and which first sought the military aid and secondly offered community-based necessities thorough evaluation of the severity of effects. The FEMA director Michael Brown did not adhere to tis role (Samaan & Verneuil, 2009). Instead, he concentrated on blaming Governor Blanco for the slow response with regard to filing the report on community effects (Wombwell, 2009). This distraction resulted in FEMA having an inappropriate and staggering response, and the action that was taken later had confusion and were highly uncoordinated (Tkacz, 2020). On the military point, after the long process of military inclusion into the response team, there was a poor involvement as the military did not want to interact more with troops from other forces. These issues resulted in having a low turnout of the troops involved in the response (Tkacz, 2020). Although FEMA included the National Guard in the response, the DSCA did not create a channel of linking the army with the National Guard troops- this is the reason behind the lack of teamwork (Wombwell, 2009).

From this failure, it is fundamental that DSCA ensures that the service commanders operate in the best relational environments to avoid the conflicts that arose during the hurricane. Importantly, the DSCA should have a considerable agreement between the response players to avoid confrontation. The response teams and commanders should be dimensional and independent from any administration. These commanders should generalize the incorporation and presentation from all the players. Roles should be defined in harmonizing the relation of similar incidence in the response field.


The Katrina hurricane tragedy is among the historical records in the American disaster phenomenon. This incidence affected the community, and vast geographical destruction rendered many Americans homeless and landless. Although the hurricane was natural and could never be prevented, there was a chance to tackle the issues raised by this disaster. However, the major players to the response failed as there existed laziness in the DSCA action within the region. The competency for the regional DSCA is under criticism from the poor disaster management as many people died and others left with scars and under poor living. Indeed there is considerable room for redemption for the DSCA, and this can only be through the fundamentals recommended in this paper. The DSCA must bear in mind that it has a poor speed to such calamities, and the whole system must change for better. The suggestions have it that for the future, functional communication matrix and protocols be aligned between federal agencies, civil administrators, non-governmental, and forces involved in the response teams for the best action. More importantly, the FEMA, civil authorities, military, and all the bodies under the DSCA have to ensure that they are prepared for similar future scenarios.


Army, U. S. (2012). Army Leadership (ADRP 6-22). Headquarters, Departement of the Army. Retrieved from html.

Samaan, J. L., & Verneuil, L. (2009). Civil-Military Relations in Hurricane Katrina: a case study on crisis management in natural disaster response. Enhancing transatlantic governance on disaster relief and preparedness, 1.

Tkacz, S. (2020). In Katrina's Wake: Rethinking the Military's Role in Domestic Emergencies. William & Mary Law School Scholarship Repository. Retrieved 13 August 2020, from

Wombwell, J. A. (2009). Army support during the Hurricane Katrina disaster (Vol. 29). Government Printing Office.

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