2. Optimism or arrogance?

Planning for catastrophe is like planning for war. The overriding goal is to anticipate possible outcomes and engineer responses that are most likely to ensure victory. All too often, however, in both war and disaster, almost nothing turns out the way it is supposed to. What was expected does not happen as imagined. And the well-thought-out plan, the coordinated attack, the deliberate response falls apart when it is needed most.

After the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, New York City officials understood that the city had become a prime terror target and that there could be another attempt sometime in the future. To be better prepared for the next time, Mayor Giuliani wanted a new emergency command center ...

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