Joint Chiefs Issue Doctrine on “Homeland Defense”

07.23.07 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

A new publication of the Joint Chiefs of Staff presents U.S. military doctrine on “homeland defense” (pdf).

“It provides information on command and control, interagency and multinational coordination, and operations required to defeat external threats to, and aggression against, the homeland.”

See “Homeland Defense,” Joint Publication 3-27, July 12, 2007.

The document further extends the unfortunate use of the term “homeland” to refer to the United States, a relatively recent coinage that became prevalent in the George W. Bush Administration.

Not only does the word “homeland” have unhappy echoes of the Germanic “Heimat” and the cult of land and soil, it is also a misnomer in a nation of immigrants.

Moreover, “homeland” is defined by the military exclusively in terms of geography: It is “the physical region that includes the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, United States territories and possessions, and surrounding territorial waters and airspace.”

This means that actions to defend the Constitution and the political institutions of American democracy are by definition excluded from “homeland defense.”

For the Joint Chiefs, constitutional liberties are subordinate to, and contingent upon, physical security:

“To preserve the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, the Nation must have a homeland that is secure from threats and violence, especially terrorism.” (page I-1).

See all publications
Nuclear Weapons
New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship: Creative Perspectives on Rethinking Nuclear Deterrence 

To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists launched the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. Here’s what our inaugural cohort accomplished.

11.28.23 | 3 min read
read more
Science Policy
Expected Utility Forecasting for Science Funding

Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.

11.20.23 | 11 min read
read more
Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear Notebook: Nuclear Weapons Sharing, 2023

The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]

11.17.23 | 1 min read
read more
Social Innovation
Community School Approach Reaches High of 60%, Reports Latest Pulse Panel

According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.

11.17.23 | 4 min read
read more