***** Homeland Security: What Is It and Where Are We Going? By Amos N. Guiora. Edited by William Blake. CRC Press, www.crcpress.com; 382 pages; $79.95.
Homeland Security: What Is It and Where Are We Going? is an exposition of the topic as a whole. Guiora organizes the work into eight chapters that are quite specific regarding definitions, costs, intelligence, and terrorism types. Overall, I was impressed by Guiora’s narrowness of focus on the topic while acknowledging that the subject area is quite broad. The work was written to familiarize readers with the subject matter, but was not intended to be an end-all reference guide.
Guiora displays his expertise when delving into the dangers of making the topic political. For instance, he notes that the Obama administration’s refusal to use certain terms pertaining to terrorism changed the definitions of potential security threats and the consequent response to them. The author excels in explaining the importance of focusing efforts and
finite resources verses a “throwing money at it” approach, thus casting the net so wide it becomes ponderous or creates dangers that otherwise might have been avoided or contained if fund allocation had been better prioritized.
Where the work suffers is when Guiora attempts to interject his personal views. He also sometimes fails to adequately explain how international and cultural differences can result in different security needs.
Overall, the work was informative and concise, if a bit biased and lacking in some areas. The author has done a reasonable job in his explanation of what can conservatively be called a daunting topic.
Reviewer: William F. Eardley IV is a veteran law enforcement and security professional, holding a master’s degree in liberal studies and a graduate certificate in information security from Eastern Michigan University. He is a member of ASIS International.