Homeland Security or Homeland Defense?
Major General Horst, Joint Force Headquarters National Capitol Region-Military Distric of Washington commanding general, provides details of his command's mission and capabilities to National Guard leaders (Photo: George Markfelder JFHQNCR-MDW)  



Colonel Jerry Cusic
US Army National Guard

USAWC Class of 2009

The views expressed in the document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Army National Guard, the U.S. Department of the Army, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.



The tenets of official United States counterterrorist policy states the government will make no concessions nor deal with terrorists, will bring terrorists to justice for their crimes, will isolate and apply pressure to states that sponsor terrorism, and will bolster the counterterrorist capabilities of countries willing to work with the United States.

Although these tenets are sound principles, their application -- specifically, overseas or beyond the borders of the United States -- constitutes homeland defense and undeniably the purview of Federal armed forces when it relates to defending the United States from nation states or states acting as surrogate agents for non-state actors.

This AY-09 USAWC USAWC Resident Student author argures that the American public's perspective of terrorism, however,is non-Clausewitzian; they do not necessarily see it as a continuation of national policy. Therefore, the use of Federal armed forces against terrorists domestically suggests a misunderstanding of the nature of terrorism. Terrorism within the country's borders is a criminal act and the proper responsibility of civil law enforcement.

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This page last updated on 10 March 2011.

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