America is a target; the homeland is under threat. While Americans have been targets of terrorist attacks for quite some time, September 11, 2001, awoke the nation to the reality that we are vulnerable in our homes, our places of work and worship, and our means of public transportation. And yet, we must continue to function as best we can as the world’s most vibrant economic and political community. The current threat environment requires greater engagement with the public, as the necessary eyes and ears of the nation’s homeland security infrastructure. However, to be effective, the public must be equipped with the knowledge of where and why specific locations and activities may be a terrorist target, what is being done to protect those targets, and how they can help. This three-volume set answers that need.
The chapters of each volume of Homeland Security revolve around a core of central questions. Are we safer today than we were pre-9/11? What steps have been taken in all these areas to protect ourselves? What are the threats we face, and what new threats have developed since 9/11? Are we staying one step ahead of those who wish to do us harm? In 2002, more than 400 million people, 122 million cars, 11 million trucks, 2.4 million freight cars, and 8 million containers entered the United States. Nearly 60,000 vessels entered the United States at its 301 ports of entry. Clearly the amount of activity this represents will require a long-term commitment to innovation, organizational learning, and public vigilance to complement an already overstretched network of government agencies and security professionals.