Foundations of Homeland Security: Law and Policy

By Martin J. Alperen; Reviewed by Dr. Richard Ward

***** Foundations of Homeland Security: Law and Policy. By Martin J. Alperen. John Wiley and Sons,; 376 pages; $89.95.

Despite a large number of books on homeland security, few cover the legal implications surrounding the topic. This well-researched book provides a detailed examination of homeland security law, noting that prior to the events of 9-11, the nation did not have a unified vision or strategy to guide government agencies in developing policies and procedures to cope with the global terrorist threat. Following passage in the United States of the USA Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act in 2002, both federal and local agencies were faced with a plethora of guidelines and procedural requirements that necessitated integrated, interrelated, and interagency cooperation.

In Foundations of Homeland Security: Law and Policy, Martin Alperen provides a text designed largely for the academic community, but which should have broader appeal to practitioners and the legal community. He brings into focus many of the legal and legislative changes that have occurred since 9-11, in many cases outlining the problems associated with the government mandate to implement widespread organizational change designed to cope not only with terrorism but also national security, emergency management, and natural disasters. The author provides a comprehensive over­view of the development of homeland security law that impacts federal, state, local, and tribal jurisdictions, as well as the private sector. The well-organized text covers the roles of the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, border security, critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, transportation security, agriculture and food protection, weapons of mass destruction, and biodefense and WMD medical countermeasures.

The chapter on intelligence gathering should be read by anyone involved with or interested in national security. This chapter alone offers one of the most comprehensive compilations of the many aspects of intelligence-gathering initiatives and restrictions available.

Later chapters focus on the National Incident Management System (NIMS), emergency preparedness, the authority to use military force, and the National Response Framework. A chapter on detention and treatment of terrorists covers historical context as well as more recent material on issues related to torture, physical searches, detainee treatment, and interrogation.

Two chapters written by other authors provide a comparative perspective of interest. “European Homeland Security” by John L. Clarke and “China and Japan: Approaches to Domestic and Trans­national Terrorism” by Manuel Manriquez offer interesting over­views that inform the reader about other countries’ counterterrorism efforts.

Reviewer: Dr. Richard Ward is associate vice president for research and special programs at the University of New Haven in Connecticut. He is the author of Criminal Investigation: A Method for Reconstructing the Past (6th Edition) with James W. Osterburg, and he co­authored with Dr. Kathleen L. Kiernan and Dr. Daniel Mabrey Homeland Security: An Introduction. Ward serves on the ASIS Council on Global Terrorism, Political Instability, and International Crime.



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