The US military didn’t plan for the aftermath of Iraq. You know, controlling the civilian population? So they’ve learned their lesson. You gotta plan for it:
The US military has begun to plan for a possible avian flu pandemic that could kill as many as three million people in the United States in as little as six weeks, a Pentagon planning document said.
The Defense Department’s “Implementation Plan for Pandemic Influenza,” which was posted Wednesday on a Pentagon website, lays out guidelines and planning assumptions for US military services and combatant commands.
Possible scenarios include US troops being called in to put down riots, guard pharmaceutical plants and shipments, and help restrict the movement of people inside the country and across its borders.
The plan envisions fast moving, catastrophic waves of disease that would overwhelm health facilities and cripple the ability of state and local authorities to provide even basic commodities or services. (Agence France Presse)
Their planning assumes a “fatality rate” of 1% (p. 8), while the AFP article says the planning is based on 3 million deaths (1% of the population) so presumably the 1% number is not case fatality ratio but population mortality, but I couldn’t find either CFR or total mortality in the DoD document. Either way, this is far below the current case fatality ratio for H5N1, although a 1% population mortality is arguably about a 1918 level (3 – 5% CFR based on 20 – 35% infection). The document acknowledges that quarantine is a non-starter. In general the planning seems to envisage support of civilian activities, including support activities, quelling civil unrest and protection of critical infrastructure.
I’m glad they are thinking about what to do if there is a major pandemic. In actual fact, however, they will be struggling to keep their own operations going while caring for their own dependents and personnel. Like other communities, they’ll also be on their own.
I don’t think we’ll get much support from our troops.