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Homeland Security and Homeland Defense:

Homeland Defense was established well before Homeland Security and included all branches of the military. Homeland Security is a fairly newer agency in the US that encompasses parts of many different agencies throughout the government, to include Homeland Defense. However, Kahan J. (2013), mentions that the idea of Homeland security goes back to World War II. The three authors, Kahan, McHale, and Goss, have the same general idea that the role of homeland defense has always been to protect the American people using the Department of Defense and that Homeland Security has the role of protecting against terrorist attacks.

Roles, Responsibilities, Strategies

Parts of many agencies have been taken and merged into what makes up Homeland Security. Without a clear definition of what this means, it is very difficult to know how to train, support and fund this agency. Homeland Defense has been given roles within Homeland Security to assist when needed. Confusion on the structure of how these two overlap has caused concern with adequate training and funding. Also, some feel that having the military involved in Homeland Security will take away from its mission of defense and that the Department of Justice should be the lead in Homeland Security since terrorist activities are criminal acts. The idea of Homeland Security mainly focused on terrorism has been greatly mistaken. Natural and man-made disasters are threats that the department is also responsible for and need to be properly prepared to react to or protect against. The nation has seen many issues with this when Hurricane Katrina struck and Kahan J. (2013), stated that an “all-hazards” approach to homeland security has increased over the past decade. In the article by Colonel Jerry Cusic, the statement that “the role of the DOD has again been blurred by tasks and missions in homeland security and homeland defense arising in response to confusion—confusion in what is termed “new international security environment” versus post-Cold War needs” (Cusic, 2009). If the primary missions of DOD continue to be modified or adjusted without proper timing, training and readiness will suffer. This was a big focus in the article of Homeland Security versus Homeland Defense: Gaps Galor, by Westby J. (2007), addressing the cyber threat. If any threat has not been fully assessed, analyzed and planned for then it can’t be possible to fully protect the nation from the threats.


Without a clear definition of what Homeland Security is, there will always be challenges. The article by Kahan J. (2013) referenced that after 9/11 “Congress and the administration chose the quickest and easiest solution” which has caused many difficulties in determining policies and budget priorities. This could also be the cause of inadequate training, understanding of functions, roles, and responsibilities. These challenges come with a costly price.


Cusic, J. (2009). The Confusion Of Homeland Security With Homeland Defense. Retrieved from U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA 17013-5050 website:…

Goss, T. (2006). “Who’s in Charge?” New Challenges in Homeland Defense and Homeland Security. Homeland Security Affairs, 2(1). Retrieved from

McHale/former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs (2003-2009), former U.S. Congressman (1993-1999), P. (2012). An Interview With the Honorable Paul McHale. Interview by A. S. Poynton. The DomPrep Journal.

Kahan, J. (2013). What’s in a Name? The Meaning of Homeland Security. Journal of Homeland Security Education, 2, 1–18. Retrieved from

Westby, J. (2007). Homeland Security v. Homeland Defense: Gaps Galore. St. Mary’s University School of Law. Retrieved from