Operation Dark Winter

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Operation Dark Winter
Location Joint Base Andrews, Washington D.C, U.S.
Date June 22, 2001 (2001-06-22) – June 23, 2001 (2001-06-23)

Operation Dark Winter was the code name for a senior-level bio-terrorist attack simulation conducted from June 22–23, 2001.[1][2][3] It was designed to carry out a mock version of a covert and widespread smallpox attack on the United States. Tara O'Toole and Thomas Inglesby of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies (CCBS) / Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and Randy Larsen and Mark DeMier of Analytic Services were the principal designers, authors, and controllers of the Dark Winter project.

Dark Winter was focused on evaluating the inadequacies of a national emergency response during the use of a biological weapon against the American populace. The exercise was solely intended to establish preventive measures and response strategies by increasing governmental and public awareness of the magnitude and potential of such a threat posed by biological weapons.

Dark Winter's simulated scenario involved an initial localized smallpox attack on Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with additional smallpox attack cases in Georgia and Pennsylvania. The simulation was then designed to spiral out of control. This would create a contingency in which the National Security Council struggles to determine both the origin of the attack as well as deal with containing the spreading virus. By not being able to keep pace with the disease's rate of spread, a new catastrophic contingency emerges in which massive civilian casualties would overwhelm America's emergency response capabilities.

The disastrous contingencies that would result in the massive loss of civilian life were used to exploit the weaknesses of the U.S. health care infrastructure and its inability to handle such a threat. The contingencies were also meant to address the widespread panic that would emerge and which would result in mass social breakdown and mob violence. Exploits would also include the many difficulties that the media would face when providing American citizens with the necessary information regarding safety procedures.

Key participants[edit]

President The Hon. Sam Nunn
National Security Advisor The Hon. David Gergen
Director of Central Intelligence The Hon. R. James Woolsey, Jr.
Secretary of Defense The Hon. John White[disambiguation needed]
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Tilelli, USA (Ret.)
Secretary of Health and Human Services The Hon. Margaret Hamburg
Secretary of State The Hon. Frank Wisner
Attorney General The Hon. George Terwilliger
Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency Mr. Jerome Hauer
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation The Hon. William Sessions
Governor of Oklahoma The Hon. Frank Keating
Press Secretary, Gov. Frank Keating (OK) Mr. Dan Mahoney
Correspondent, NBC News Mr. Jim Miklaszewski
Pentagon Producer, CBS News Ms. Mary Walsh
Reporter, British Broadcasting Corporation Ms. Sian Edwards
Reporter, The New York Times Ms. Judith Miller
Reporter, Freelance Mr. Lester Reingold

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ O'Leary, N. P. M. (2005). "Bio-terrorism or Avian Influenza: California, The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, and Protecting Civil Liberties During a Public Health Emergency". California Western Law Review (California Western School of Law) 42 (2): 249–286. ISSN 0008-1639. 
  2. ^ Chauhan, Sharad S. (2004). Biological Weapons. APH Publishing. pp. 280–282. ISBN 978-81-7648-732-0. 
  3. ^ Kunstler, James Howard (2006). The Long Emergency. Grove Press. pp. 175–178. ISBN 978-0-8021-4249-8. 

External links[edit]