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Homeland Security Is Better Broad

A broad view of Homeland Security permits us access to more tools. Different groups define Homeland Security differently. The extremes of opinion are represented, for the narrow view, by those who feel homeland security is only about terrorism. They believe focusing on anything additional dilutes, distracts, and weakens the homeland security mission.

Others say its focus is terrorism and natural disasters. Still others claim homeland security is about what is called ‘all hazards’ (terrorism, man-made disasters, and natural disasters). To some, homeland security is focused on your particular geographical risk depending on where you live, for example, hurricanes, tornados, flooding, or earthquakes.

One practitioner uses the term “Generational Hazards.” These are hazards created by the present generation that “take many decades to metastasize before finally reaching a disastrous end-state that impacts future generations.” Global warming is one example.

At the other extreme, the broad view of homeland security advocates that homeland security is about everything – that it implicates almost every sector of our lives and there is very little which does not relate to it in some way.

Under this view the arts, for example painting, poetry, music, dance, and theatre, have homeland security implications. Known to break down barriers and overcome cultural differences, sometimes the arts are the only connection between otherwise hostile/unfriendly countries.

Absolutely food counts! "It's often said that the closest interaction many Americans have with other countries' cultures is through food. That kind of culinary diplomacy is particularly common in Washington, D.C., where immigrants from all over the world have cooked up a diverse food scene...."

The United States has long recognized that “the survival of liberty at home increasingly depends on the success of liberty abroad.” Therefore, America’s homeland security must also address global and ideological issues such as freedom, self-determination, democracy, sustainable growth and consumption, environmental degradation, inadequate health care, extreme poverty, intolerance, social injustice, etc.

One World Security. We can plan to prevent, prepare for, and recover from a terrorist attack. We can also take the broader and longer-term view and work to make the world a better place where there will be fewer terrorists.


Bellavita, Christopher. “Changing Homeland Security: What is Homeland Security?.” Homeland Security Affairs 4, Article 1 (June 2008). https://www.hsaj.org/articles/118.

Patrick J. Massey,“Generational Hazards.” Massey’s “Generational” hazards are: 1. The Soaring Federal Fiscal and Current-Account Debts; 2. Global Warming; 3. Failing Math, Science, and Engineering Education; and 4. Decaying Physical Infrastructure. Massey, Patrick J. “Generational Hazards.” Homeland Security Affairs 3, Article 3 (September 2007), section entitled “The Generational Hazards.” https://www.hsaj.org/articles/142.

Cuba and the US, for example. http://www.npr.org/2014/12/18/371721096/music-a-longtime-feature-of-cuba-u-s-cultural-exchange.

“From the mid-1950s and continuing through the 1970s, many American jazz greats traveled the globe as music envoys under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of State. Today’s music diplomacy programs, including American Music Abroad, Center Stage, OneBeat, and Next Level, and the State Department’s other arts-based initiatives, serve to open dialogue with new audiences, encourage collaboration, create economic opportunities, and empower women and youth by providing positive and popular avenues for engagement.” U.S. Dept. of State, April 16, 2015. [This quotation is not available online any longer, but an almost identical sentiment is at https://eca.state.gov/jazzdiplomacy.]

Gastrodiplomacy: Cooking Up A Tasty Lesson On War And Peace, by Linda Poon, NPR - March 24, 2014. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/03/24/291980375/gastrodiplomacy-cooking-up-a-tasty-lesson-on-war-and-peace?sc=17&f=1001.

National Security Strategy 2006 https://nssarchive.us/national-security-strategy-2006/2/

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