Continuity of Operations Plan

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Continuity of Operations Plan refers to the preparations and institutions maintained by the United States government, providing survival of federal government operations in the case of catastrophic events.

Contents

History

A Continuity of Operations Plan (or Continuity of Government Plan) has been a part of government operations since at least the Cold War, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower provided (via executive order) various measures designed to ensure that the government of the United States would be able to continue operating after a nuclear war. These plans were classified for many years, partly under the assumption that knowledge of these plans would enable the Soviet Union to more effectively launch a nuclear attack. In addition, these plans were censored to prevent an uproar among the American public, who (proponents feared) might panic after the revelation that the government was planning for its own survival in a terrifying post-nuclear war environment. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, these plans lost their prominence both in government and in the public consciousness. The Continuity of Operations Plan has seen a return to relevance in the 2000s. After the September 11 attacks, many speculated that terrorists might attempt to destroy a large part of the central government and send the country into chaos. Much of the government's plans for post-nuclear war survival remain secret, and some of the measures that are known are controversial.[citation needed]

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