This year started off with a series of natural and man-made disasters, as well as domestic political crises and increasingly dangerous regional and international tensions bordering on military brinkmanship. But what if it all was to get even worse? There is virtually nothing in place to stop such a scenario.

In the aftermath of Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011, which killed approximately 20,000, the most heard comment was soteigai, or, “it was unexpected.”

Of course, several experts and commentators, including myself, had long argued for the Japanese and U.S. governments to coordinate ahead of time on disaster cooperation. As a result of the lack of proactive leadership and pre-disaster planning and coordination, the response was not as timely or efficient as it could have been.