A thin one is a line between homeland security and homeland defense, but the two words are not the same. Homeland defense, according to Love & Richard, means the joint activities of a larger national non-military team, including local, state, and federal departments, both directed at avoiding, deterring, preempting, and defending violence against the United States of America (54). In July 2001, the National Strategy for Homeland Security (NSHS) defined the term homeland security as the collective national energy and effort to elude the terrorist attacks in the US, reduce the damage and vulnerability from the terrorism, and recover from the occurred attacks in the previous (Love & Richard 55).
On the other hand, the term Homeland Defense (HD) means protection against military assault, which may emanate from outside the United States of America. The HD definition characterizes the energies or the efforts by the department of defense, to prevent, defeat, and mitigate both asymmetric and symmetric threats to the USA. For instance, Mexico may decide to attack the United States and get in through the borders. It is the responsibility of the homeland defense to fight against the assault. Nevertheless, it also accords any significant assistance to the civil authorities in the time of crises, be it human-made, or natural (Love & Richard 54). The asymmetric threats are issued by an adversary, which adopts some techniques that the enemy cannot effectively respond, while the symmetric threats are those threats given by an opponent, attempting to overmatch the enemy’s strength and abilities.
The homeland security deals with internal issues, such as immigration, drugs, and the terrorist attacks. Their primary focus is preventing the internals attacks from the terrorist groups, such as the Al Qaeda, and offer proper management of the consequences of a crisis or attacks (Sylves & Richard 81). Sometimes, the homeland security may experience some limitations, which may hinder its effectiveness, but they can be mitigated through exercises and training. On the other hand, the homeland defense usually works in defending of the United States where, in case of an external attack from an enemy, they are there to fight. Their primary focus is on National Threat by foreign governments or external organizations. Unlike with the homeland security, the limitations experienced by the homeland defense can only be solved by technology advancement or development, and that is why the DoD applies various techniques, such as the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to support homeland defense and security (Love & Richard 57).
Another distinction is that the homeland security plays a significant role in the daily lives of all citizens, which has much to do with protecting and ensuring the domestic tranquility. Despite the fact that the homeland security primary focus is on terrorists related acts, such as attacks, its relevance, and application of the general security apparatus of the United States makes it significant and ideal for handling the overall security issues to the whole nation. Apparently, the state or the federal military forces may be requested to handle rebellions that may arise between nations, but the DHS is usually the lead agent engaged in the security concerns before the homeland defense involvement.
The homeland defense does not play a direct role in United States citizens’ daily lives. Apparently, the ownership and control of the common defense responsibilities seem clear and unobjectionable because there is the need for the military to secure the borders and offer protections of United States allies (Love & Richard 58). However, the role of DoD in supporting the maintenance of the domestic tranquillity is not readily apparent. In fact, the DHS seems to have all the responsibilities of maintaining the internal security of all the Americans. Furthermore, when there emerges crisis, the homeland defense may assist, but not being primarily involved in the management of the effects of the crisis. Therefore, the DHD primary role in domestic welfare is unnoticeable.
Love, Richard A. “Homeland Security and Homeland Defense.” Responding to Catastrophic Events. Palgrave Macmillan US, 2013. 53-59.
Sylves, Richard. Disaster policy and politics: Emergency management and homeland security. CQ Press, 2014.