Homeland Strategy

By Christopher J. Castelli / March 22, 2013 at 4:46 PM

The Defense Department today released its "Strategy for Homeland Defense and Defense Support of Civil Authorities," which lays out DOD's priorities for homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities through 2020, consistent with the National Security Strategy and the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, according to a DOD statement.

"It links with other DOD and national strategic documents related to missile defense, space, cyberspace, counterterrorism and the Western Hemisphere," the statement adds. "The strategy identifies two priority missions for the department in the homeland: defend U.S. territory from direct attack by state and non-state actors; and provide assistance to domestic civil authorities in the event of natural or manmade disasters, potentially in response to a very significant or catastrophic event." It calls for maintaining DOD capabilities to defend against conventional and emerging threats in the air and maritime domains, while "expanding cooperation with federal, state, and local partners to defeat asymmetric threats including, for example, homegrown violent extremists who may seek to use improvised explosive devices," the statement notes. The strategy also addresses DOD preparations for responding to man-made and natural disasters.

"The Department of Defense's contributions to the defense of our nation have evolved over the past decade and account for new threats and challenges. Lessons learned from events like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and collaboration with our interagency partners and State Governors have framed our current approach to DoD civil support activities," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas' Security Affairs Todd Rosenblum, in the statement. "This strategy emphasizes strengthening our partnerships with federal agencies like the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, with state and local governments, with the private sector, and with our Canadian and Mexican neighbors not only for more comprehensive approaches to complex security challenges in the homeland, but also to create efficiencies through collaboration and joint action."