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Book Review: Homeland Defense

CRC Press; 222 pages; $89.95

This well-researched work explores the relationship between military and civilian authorities in pursuit of homeland defense. It begins with a historical perspective. Civilians, the work says, typically fear military involvement in domestic affairs. 

Homeland Defense and Defense Support of Civil Authorities looks at homeland defense, homeland security, maritime support, airspace, weapons of mass destruction, cyber issues, and emerging challenges. The work aims to promote understanding of the military mission within the United States and its role in support of civilian agencies. It emphasizes that the military’s primary role, however, is defense outside continental boundaries. 

The book goes on to explain that many agencies are not up to their assigned tasks, increasing the likelihood of military takeover by default. While the military might not intend to perform some actions, it may end up doing them and introducing “mission creep.” 

Where the work suffers is threefold. First, it relies heavily on the author’s opinions—a serious blow to its credibility as a professional resource. Second, it claims to be a textbook; while a worthwhile read, it does not belong in the security body of knowledge. Finally, its narrow focus would appeal to a small audience.


Reviewer: William Eardley IV has 29 years of experience in security and corrections. He is a member of ASIS International.