What Is Homeland Security? Info from government websites.....

I know we are all interested in finding out more about the new Homeland Security Department.

In the interest at getting at the roots and facts of the nature of the new Homeland Security Agency/Department/Office(/whatever), and to get past the rhetoric, I only used official government or quasi-governmental websites to do a little research – presented below.

Based on this research presented, it is easy to see that the concept of Homeland Security has been in the works from as early as 1995 with President Clinton’s Presidential Decision Directives (see below).

The earliest reference to the term “Homeland Defense” or “Homeland Security” that I could find was in an article on the NYU.edu website from 1997. It is not included below.

In the days after the 9/11 attack, the president began “Operation Noble Eagle” which was the callup of 35,500 army reservists. This operation will be coordinated by the new Office of Homeland Security.

As you will note by the testimony of Adj. Major Gen. Cugno of the Connecticut National Guard (below), it was his opinion that homeland defense be conducted by the National Guard, controlled by the nation’s governors, and not via federal centralized control.

Please also note that the Jan 8, 2001 revised US Army Field Manaual (see below) on Physical Security, “Homeland Defense is the military’s role in the United States (US) government’s principal task of protecting its territory and citizens.”

So, clearly as we see by the revised US Army field manual, by the army reserve callup in Operation Noble Eagle, and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, that homeland security operations are federally coordinated – against the recommendation of the National Guard General who said (see below) that “Proponents of a strong federal role clearly demonstrated a lack of understanding of statehood and political realities.”

General Cugno also noted that use of the US Army, and not the national guard, internally within the US violates Posse Comitatus, unless expressly and explicitly enabled by legislation from Congress. (see his testimony below)

Please also find below, strategic design plans for a Homeland Defence Agency from the Center for Strategic International Studies. (The CSIS President and CEO is former Deputy Secretary of Defence, John J. Hamre, and Board of Trustees Chairman, Sen. Sam Nunn, former head of Defence Committee Chair).

Also, included below, information on the “National Homeland Security Agency Act”, introduced in the House on March 21, 2001 and the US Commission on National Security for the 21st Century who authored it.

I hope you find this information interesting and useful in understanding US policy on homeland security leading up to and subsequent to the 9/11 tragedy.

Clearly, the tragedy was used as the trigger to implement Homeland Security and Defense policy that has been under design and consideration for many years. (note the dates above)

Whether that was a good or bad idea, or the concept of Homeland Security is good or bad, is a decision left up to you. I provided as much research using government sources that I could in any reasonable amount of time. You can use these sources as a jumping off point to find out more about it if you like in your investigation of this new massive expansion of government power and bureaucracy.

Best Regards.

US Commission on National Security for the 21st Century

URL: The Hart-Rudman Commission

URL: National Homeland Security Agency Act Introduced in the House – March 21, 2001

“SEC. 10. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Act shall take effect on the date that is 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act.” (September 21, 2001)

URL: From the House Commission on Government Reform, National Security Sub-commission, April 24, 2001 Briefing Memo

Federal Organization to Counter Terrorism

Presidential Decision Directive 62, Protection Against Unconventional Threats to the Homeland and Americans Overseas, May 22, 1998 (Clinton)

Presidential Decision Directive 63, Critical Infrastructure Protection, May 22, 1998 (Clinton)

The Conference Committee Report accompanying the 1998 Appropriations Act for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies (PL 105-119) directed the Attorney General, in consultation with other pertinent agencies, to develop a Five-Year Interagency Counterterrorism and Technology Crime Plan. The plan was intended to serve as a baseline strategy for coordination of national policy and operational capabilities to combat terrorism at home and abroad.

The Bush administration issued National Security Decision Directive-1, Organization of the National Security Council System, on February 13, 2001. The document establishes the organizational structure that coordinates the efforts of executive departments and agencies in the effective development and implementation of national security policies.

Evaluation of Current National Strategy to Counter Terrorism

There are concerns about the federal organizational structure to counter terrorism. The Phase III Report of the US Commission on National Security/21st Century (DoD sponsored) recommends the president propose, and Congress agree, to create a National Homeland Security Agency (NHSA) with responsibility for planning, coordinating, and integrating various U.S. government activities involved in homeland security.

[ed note…..it seems that the CSIS/NSSG option won out in the end…]

Options to Improve the Federal Response

H. R. 1158, National Homeland Security Agency Act …. would bring together four agencies – the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Coast Guard, the Customs Service, and the Border Patrol and task these agencies with the mission of defending the homeland. FEMA would be renamed the National Homeland Security Agency…

Center for Strategic International Studies

[Ed Note: See homeland defense strategy papers from the year 2000.] http://www.csis.org/homeland/


Field Manual No. 3-19.30

URL: Physical Security

Headquarters Department of the Army

Washington, DC, 8 January 2001

Homeland Defense is the military’s role in the United States (US) government’s principal task of protecting its territory and citizens. This is accomplished by joint, interagency, and multijurisdictional organizations. Homeland Defense includes:

  • Supporting domestic authorities for crisis and consequence management with regard to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
  • Protecting national-security assets (such as installations) and deploying forces and ensuring the availability, integrity, and adequacy of other critical assets.
  • Deterring and defending against strategic attacks while maintaining freedom of action through antiterrorism and force-protection operations.





JULY 23, 2001 http://www.house.gov/reform/ns/107th_testimony/statement_of_cugno.htm

“Accordingly, homeland security becomes an additional mission, but not the only mission of the National Guard. As we develop our nation's comprehensive plan, National Guard forces, with nationwide span of nearly 3300 locations in 2700 communities, should be recognized as the "existing" forward-deployed military force in this country.

National Guard forces are already fully integrated into existing local, state and regional emergency response networks.

…The National Guard [is] uniquely qualified to perform a fusion role on behalf of the Department of Defense, in domestic security assurance. Reliance on the National Guard preserves the constitutional balance between state and federal sovereign interests, rights and responsibilities.

My colleagues also stated that in defense of the scenario drivers, the federal players found it difficult and frustrating to deal with all the different states, with their differing capabilities and the various powers granted in state statutes regarding civil emergencies. The federal players wanted to operate as they always operate – with one authority and uniform rules of engagement across the nation.

Proponents of a strong federal role clearly demonstrated a lack of understanding of statehood and political realities.

The ability of the federal government to use the National Guard is limited by the Militia Clause of the Constitution Clause.[1] The Militia Clause provides for the calling forth of the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions. Congress empowered the President, as the Commander in Chief, to call forth the Militia.[2] The law, however, constrains the President in the federal use of the National Guard, limiting the use to when the President is unable to execute the federal law with regular forces.

The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the use of any part of the Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marines, including their reserve components, as a posse comitatus ("armed force") or otherwise to execute the laws, except as authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress. Congress has created a number of statutory exceptions to the Posse Comitatus Act, which fall into four major categories: (1) insurrections and civil disturbances, [4] (2) counterdrug operations, [5] (3) disaster relief, [6] (4) counter-terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.”

September 27, 2001