Politics

Report: Bush Prepares Crisis Contingency Briefings for Obama

President George W. Bush's administration will brief president-elect Barack Obama and his team on more than a dozen contingency plans in case an international crisis breaks in the days after his inauguration, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The memorandums for the Obama administration cover several crisis scenarios including a North Korean nuclear explosion, a cyberattack on American computer systems, a terrorist strike on a U.S. facilities overseas, or an outbreak of instability in the Middle East, people briefed on them told the newspaper.

Each contingency planning goes beyond what other administrations have done and outlines options Obama can consider, they added.

"This is very unusual," Roger Cressey, a former Clinton White House counterterrorism official told the Times. "We certainly did not do that. When the transition happened from Clinton to Bush, remember it was a totally different world. You had some documents given that gave them a flavor of where things were at. But now you've got two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a hot war against Al Qaeda."

Beyond terrorism, Obama could face an early international test on any number of fronts, as his running mate, Joe Biden, predicted on the campaign trail.

Beside the memorandums, the Bush administration has given crisis training to nearly 100 government officials who may stay on after the inauguration while political appointees await Senate confirmation, the paper said.

The plans were reportedly recommended by the commission that investigated the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The commission noted problems during the hand over from former president Bill Clinton to Bush, and in its report on the attacks called for a better handover process "since a catastrophic attack could occur with little or no notice."

Read the full report at The New York Times.