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What Is Homeland Security? Characteristic of early committee deliberations and of the workshop proceedings was the realization that no well-articulated, explicitly delin- eated, and widely shared definition of U.S. "homeland security" exists. The phrase itself came into being as a result of, and in concert with, the dissolution of the prevailing Cold War-era paradigm of U.S. national se- curity, a catastrophic terrorist assault on U.S. soil, a major reorganization of government unprecedented since the 1947 National Security Act (which created the Department of Defense [DOD], the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA], and the National Security Council [NSC]), and the integra- tion of 22 government agencies with widely disparate historic missions and work cultures into the current Department of Homeland Security. To facilitate its charge, the committee adopted the following as its working definition: "Any area of inquiry whose improved understanding could make U.S. peoples safer from extreme, unanticipated threats." Two strong, divergent opinions characterized further attempts to refine the definition and were equally represented in workshop discussion: (1) "homeland security" includes those threats that are man-made in origin (the exclusive view) or (2) "homeland security" includes man-made, tech- nological, and natural threats (the inclusive view). The difference in the two definitions lies in the area of protection from natural or technological disasters. This area is--for better or worse--already well defined academi- cally. As pointed out by Dr. Wayne Blanchard of FEMA, emergency man- agement curricula across the nation have have been tracked, shared, stan- dardized, and refined via university interaction with FEMA's Emergency Management Institute for over 10 years, with many institutions sharing 3
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4 FRAMEWORKS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION IN HOMELAND SECURITY exactly the same syllabi, course notes, and "prevention-preparedness-re- sponse-recovery" paradigm.1 For the practical purposes of this report, vir- tually all the conclusions herein apply equally well to both the inclusive and the exclusive views of homeland security. However, much of the de- scriptive text and Appendix E concentrate on the area which is less well defined academically, that of human-origin threats. The committee faced the dilemma of having to evaluate education frameworks in homeland security as if a consensus on the term exists within government and the academy, when it does not. A priority for higher education should be to promote public and professional dialogue as to what constitutes a socially acceptable definition of homeland secu- rity and what are the practical institutional means to achieve it. It is important to understand that, while the term "homeland secu- rity" arose out of specific historical/political events, its treatment in academia does not have, and does not need to have, a one-to-one corre- spondence to these events or to existing political structures. Most impor- tantly, the content of academic programs (see Appendix E) far exceeds the political and operational boundaries of the Department of Homeland Se- curity. The academic programs span areas such as public health, military history, international diplomacy, the psychological-sociological examina- tions of other cultures, and comparative government systems--areas not in the explicit domain of the department. Indeed, the academic context of homeland security could be stretched to include almost every discipline and topic area imaginable, with "homeland security" serving more as a target for the application of such studies, rather than as a descriptor of the studies themselves. A multidisciplinary, multifaceted approach to homeland security edu- cation has substantial potential. For one, it can bridge the conceptual di- vides that currently plague our nation's security apparatus--for example, the division between domestic (law enforcement) and international (mili- tary) security, or between domestic (FBI) and foreign (CIA) intelligence, or between preexisting operations (FEMA, Office for Domestic Prepared- ness/Department of Justice) now trying to adapt to each other under the same agency roof (DHS). In academia, the turf can be replanted. Academic inquiry is not constrained by any particular agency's mission, configura- tion, or programmatic concerns. 1See http://www.training.fema.gov/emiweb/edu/index.asp for more information.
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