Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism, United States National Coordinator
The U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism is a broadly based office created by Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 62. Signed by President William J. Clinton on May 22, 1998, PDD 62 authorized the national coordinator to oversee policies and programs in areas ranging from counterterrorism to protection of critical infrastructure (such as computers) to consequence management for weapons of mass destruction.
Known as the Combating Terrorism directive, PDD 62 drew attention to the growing threat of unconventional attacks against the United States. On the same day he issued PDD 62, Clinton signed PDD 63, which created the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (CIAO). Though the functions of CIAO and the national coordinator were similar, they reported along quite different chains of command. Whereas CIAO, now part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), was then part of the Department of Commerce, the national coordinator reported to the National Security Council (NSC).
Given the fact that the NSC is the president's advisory board on national security affairs, this fact signaled the importance of the new national coordinator. So, too, did Clinton's appointment of Richard A. Clarke, who had served in the State Department of presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, and would later receive an appointment as special advisor for cyberspace security under George W. Bush.
Bush kept Clarke, famous for warning of a possible "electronic Pearl Harbor" (that is, a terrorist cyberattack) during the Clinton years, on the NSC. Meanwhile, the appointment of four-star general Wayne A. Downing to take Clarke's place as national coordinator further reinforced the importance of the office. Despite their involvement with the NSC, both the national coordinator and the special advisor for cyberspace security came under the newly created DHS.
█ FURTHER READING:
Verton, Dan. "National IT Protection Plan Update Delayed." Computerworld. 35, no. 41 (October 8, 2001): 12.
Press Briefing by Richard Clarke, National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism. Federation of American Scientists. < http://www.fas.org/irp/news/1998/05/980522-wh3.htm > (March 26,2003).
Summary of PDD 62 and PDD 63. Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office. < http://www.ciao.gov/resource/pdd6263summary.html > (March 26, 2003).
Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (CIAO), United States
Homeland Security, United States Department
NSC (National Security Council)
United States, Counter-terrorism Policy