***** National Security Issues in Science, Law and Technology. Thomas A. Johnson, editor. Published by CRC Press, www.crcpress.com (Web); 680 pages; $139.95.
To properly weave together the topics of science, technology, and law under the rubric of national security is a tall order. In this text, editor Thomas A. Johnson has done so perfectly.
The book offers guidance on the acquisition, analysis, and use of all-source national intelligence. These methods can help the reader spot patterns across wide spectrums of data and, ideally, foresee events before they occur. These skills should help policymakers arrive at better-informed decisions.
Another important aspect of the text is its explanation of objective risk assessment. The book delivers an expert treatment, based on the premise that all national security decisions should be well-founded on analysis of facts using decision theory and scientific rationales with the least amount of political consideration or emotional reactivism.
Johnson devotes an entire section of the book to chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, agroterrorism, cyberterrorism, and other potential threats to our critical national infrastructure. The need for research to develop new strategies and countermeasures to address these threats has never been so urgent, given terrorists’ ever-increasing efforts to mount unconventional attacks.
The book’s valuable appendices offer a summary of the country’s national security strategy and full reprints of the first 14 homeland security presidential directives. All security professionals will find these documents extremely informative.
Johnson himself has contributed three chapters, while editing the work of other celebrated experts into a smooth, highly readable text.
This book should find favor with seasoned security professionals as well as with younger aspirants in the growing security sector, whether they work as managers, practitioners, instructors, consultants, or advisors. It amply lives up to its purpose.
Reviewer: Col. Kuljeet Singh, CPP, is chief technical consultant and security advisor for The Wright Group, Inc. He is a member of ASIS.