New Books Network

Today I talked to David H. McIntyre about How to Think about Homeland Security; Volume 1: The Imperfect Intersection of National Security and Public...

Today I talked to David H. McIntyre about How to Think about Homeland Security; Volume 1: The Imperfect Intersection of National Security and Public Safety and Volume 2: Risk, Threats, and the New Normal (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).

The next evolution in improving homeland security is to analyze and evaluate various theories of bureaucratic change against the national-level catastrophic threats we are most likely to face. This synthesis provides the bridge between volume 1 (understanding homeland security) and the next in the series (understanding the risk and threats to domestic security).

Volume 1: The Imperfect Intersection of National Security and Public Safety explains homeland security as a struggle to meet new national security threats with traditional public safety practitioners. It offers a new solution that reaches beyond training and equipment to change practitioner culture through education. This first volume represents a major new contribution to the literature by recognizing that homeland security is not based on theories of nuclear response or countering terrorism, but on, making bureaucracy work.

Volume 2: Risk, Threats and the New Normal explains the new political and technological developments that created new domestic national security threats against the nation and the people of the United States. The book traces the development of and competition between national preparedness (focused on people and property), and civil defense / security (focused on the defense of systems and infrastructure) since the latter days of World War I. Extensive policy research demonstrates a shift in federal (and hence state and local) focus over the last decade from WMD based Threats at the National Security Level (TNSL) back to more traditional hazards and disasters. A framework is offered to analyze and evaluate TNSL dangers to national power; it is applied to a case study involving a nuclear attack.

Recommendations are offered to mitigate or prevent the potentially catastrophic aftermath. In Vol 3 this analysis will be extended to other TNSL events (chemical, biological, radiological, etc.) and the actors who must prepare for them.


Beth Windisch is a national security practitioner. You can tweet her @bethwindisch.