Bush administration: Homeland Defense 2001

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Bush administration: Homeland Defense 2001 relates to the George W. Bush administration. For earlier coverage, see Clinton administration: Homeland Defense Before 2001.

Since September 11, 2001, the term homeland defense has come to be a part of everyday jargon. It is more or less accepted that the term followed on the heels of the events of 9/11. Perhaps amazingly, however, the phrase homeland defense -- as well as that of homeland security -- have been used by experts and policy makers, members of think tanks, the military, and the U.S. Government, as well as being very much a part of long-range counterterrorism and other planning for a number of years prior to that date.

Margie Burns, author of "The strange career of Homeland Security", wrote on June 29, 2002, that the phrase homeland security was "little seen" before September 11, 2001.[1]

It would appear that only the American public was oblivious to these terms. However, since the events of 9/11, government leaders and the experts and pundits almost incessantly mouth these phrases at every turn. The list of examples of the pre-9/11 use continues to grow.


On January 31, 2001, the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century / Hart-Rudman Commission, "Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change, Final Draft Report"—more commonly known as the Hart-Rudman Commission Report—recommended the creation of a new U.S. Department of Defense office: the National Homeland Security Agency (NHSA).


In February 2001, the Defense Science Board (DSB) released the report "Protecting the Homeland," Report of the Defense Science Board 2000 Summer Study, Executive Summary Volume I.

In a February 21, 2001, briefing -- "Homeland Security: Framing the Problem" -- by Kevin O'Prey, Vice President, DFI International, O'Prey raised the issue of a definition for Homeland Defense:

  • "There is little agreement," he wrote, "on how homeland defense is defined. The White House has defined the term broadly to include national missile defense, counterintelligence, domestic preparedness, and critical infrastructure protection. Secretary William Sebastian Cohen and Deputy Defense Secretary John J. Hamre have limited homeland defense to only military support for civilian authorities. In the absence of high-level guidance the services have come out with their own definitions that support their existing missions. The general consensus is that homeland security includes national missile defense, counterterrorism, WMD preparedness, consequence management of WMD events and protection against cyber attacks."


In March 2001, a "Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Defensive Information Operations"—actually the result of a Summer 2000 study—was delivered to the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense. The report's main title is "Protecting the Homeland." [2]

Several months prior to the 9/11 attacks, there was a Homeland Security (HLS) Mini-Symposium held on March 13-15, 2001, by "the Military Operations Research Society (MOSA) (web) (Alexandria, VA), at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, MD." [3]

On March 21, 2001, the National Homeland Security Agency Act (H.R. Bill 1158) was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Mac Thornberry (R-TX). The bill was referred to the Committee on Government Reform and should have become law six months from the date it was introduced, which would have been September 21, 2001.[4][5]

  • The Bill stated that: "The security of the United States homeland from nontraditional and emerging threats must be a primary national security mission ... Despite the serious threat to homeland security, the United States Government has not yet adopted homeland security as a primary national security mission."
  • As of October 18, 2001, the Bill was reported to be still in the Committee on Government Reform.[6]

The Homeland Security Strategy Act of 2001 (H.R. 1292) was introduced on March 29, 2001, in the House of Representatives by Ike Skelton (D-Missouri) at the 107th Congress, 1st Session. The bill's intent was to "require the President to develop and implement a strategy for homeland security." The bill was referred to the House Committee on Armed Services, as well as the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, the Judiciary, and Intelligence (Permanent Select), "for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned."

  • Homeland security was defined in the bill as: "the protection of the territory, critical infrastructures, and citizens of the United States by Federal, State, and local government entities from the threat or use of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, cyber, or conventional weapons by military or other means."


On April 18, 2001, the House Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations, led by Committee Chairman Christopher Shays, received a briefing memorandum for the joint hearing -- "Combating Terrorism: Options to Improve the Federal Response" -- scheduled for April 24, 2001.

  • According to the memorandum, the purpose of the hearing was "to examine three legislative proposals, H.R. 525, Preparedness Against Domestic Terrorism Act of 2001, H.R. 1158, National Homeland Security Agency Act, and H.R. 1292, Homeland Security Strategy Act of 2001. Each bill proposed to reorganize the federal counterterrorism structure."

In April 2001, Martha K. Jordan, Lt Col, USAF, submitted an exhaustive 228-page research report to the faculty of the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Jordan's "Lessons Learned from History: Implications for Homeland Defense" includes a complete history of homeland defense in the United States beginning with the Colonial era.


According to the ANSER Institute (web) in May 2001, the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security "was established to enhance public awareness and education and contribute to the dialog on a national, state, and local level."

The article "Homeland Defense: The State of the Union" by Dr. David and Colonel Larsen was published in the Spring 2001 issue of Strategic Review and followed up in the May 2001 edition of the Institute's Journal of Homeland Defense.

Another interesting link to the ANSER Institute comes from a May 2001 briefing -- "Defending the American Homeland" -- given by Colonel Larsen. In the briefing, Larsen states: "Since the term homeland defense is traditionally so little used or understood within the United States, there are few commonly accepted definitions of basic terminology." He goes on to provide definitions for both homeland security and homeland defense.[7]

  • Homeland Security: The prevention, deterrence, and preemption of, and defense against, aggression targeted at U.S. territory, sovereignty, population, and infrastructure as well as the management of the consequences of such aggression and other domestic emergencies.
  • Homeland Defense: The prevention, preemption, and deterrence of, and defense against, direct attacks aimed at U.S. territory, population, and infrastructure.

While delivering a prepared statement before the House Committee on Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations on March 12, 2002, Colonel Larsen told the Committee that he had begun to study the "biological threat to the American homeland ... [in 1994] while serving as a National Defense Research Fellow at the Mathew B. Ridgway Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)." [8]

  • Larsen related that, "Several years later, while serving as the Chairman, Department of Military Strategy and Operations, at the National War College," he "developed a strategic framework for the study of homeland security." Larsen was assisted in this endeavor, he said, by Colonel Dave McIntyre who was then the Dean of Academics at the National War College and who is now Larsen's deputy at ANSER. "This strategic framework," he said, "is the intellectual foundation of the Institute for Homeland Security. It contains seven elements: deterrence, prevention, preemption, crisis management, consequence management, attribution, and response."[9]

The ANSER Institute web site at one time addressed the use of the now catch phrase homeland defense. Even though it was a recent entry into the "lexicon of public discourse," the Institute said that "the concept of defending the homeland is an idea dating back through the better part of human history."[10]

A keen observer pointed out that, should the President actually thereafter create a Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security (which occurred through Executive Order on February 28, 2003), the Cabinet office would be named after a corporation.[11][12]


On June 22-23, 2001, a homeland security simulation exercise -- called Dark Winter -- which portrayed a FICTIONAL scenario depicting a covert smallpox attack on US citizens was conducted at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. The ANSER Institute for Homeland Security collaberated to organize the exercise with John J. Hamre of CSIS (who initiated and conceived the exercise); Dr. Tara O'Toole and Dr. Tom Inglesby of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies; and Colonel Larsen and Mark DeMier from ANSER.[13]

This exercise, however, was not the first involving ANSER Institute staffers. Writing for Biodefense Quarterly in September 2000, Dr. Inglesby, Rita Grossman, and Dr. O'Toole penned "A Plague on Your City: Observations from TOPOFF." TOPOFF was the code name for a Defense Department nationwide counterterrorism exercise.[14] Also see Homeland Security drills and exercises.

It has been reported that, "Immediately after September 11, the Washington Times was foremost in aggressively touting and defending -- indeed, insisting on -- instant adoption of homeland as the term of the hour, in articles [that it] published on September 16, 22, 30, and October 3 [2001]." The articles also cited the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security.[15]

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