Stephen Flynn’s book “The Edge of Disaster” should be required reading, says St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Ruben Rosario. Flynn, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Affairs, believes that the U.S. is less safe, more vulnerable and woefully unprepared to deal with another major act of terrorism or a cataclysmic natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina. He says we are neglecting – at our peril – vulnerable, inadequate or crumbling but critical infrastructure such as oil refineries, transmission power grids, sea cargo ports, inland waterway systems and, yes, bridges.
Flynn spoke this month at a John Jay College of Criminal Justice crime symposium. Flynn complains about the “deeply embedded culture within national defense and federal law enforcement communities that embraces secrecy and prevents public disclosure of information.” Instead of valuable assets, he asserts, the populace has been treated more like “potential security risks.” Much of that is fueled by short-sighted responses to fear.