Monday, September 7, 2009

A War of a Different Kind: Military Force and America's Search for Homeland Security

By Stephen M. Duncan
366 pages US Naval Institute Press April 2004 978-1591142201
The radically new homeland security, military, and legal strategies developed by the United States in the months following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon are given comprehensive treatment in this book by a former senior Pentagon official, combat veteran, and criminal prosecutor. Stephen M. Duncan draws on a lifetime of military and legal experience to examine the many questions relating to the role of the armed forces in homeland security, including elements of constitutional and criminal law, foreign policy, tradition and custom, federal-state and inter-agency relations, and politics, as well as military strategy and operations. Among the diverse subjects the author discusses are military tribunals and the International Criminal Court, the statute governing the use of military personnel in law enforcement, defense transformation, the constitutional power of the president, and the reorganization of the government to meet the terrorist threat. Duncan also discusses the strategy and tactics used in Afghanistan and Iraq and critically evaluates the nation's political leadership before and after the 9/11 attacks. His book gives readers access to a wealth of information essential to an understanding of the full picture and at the same time puts them in the midst of policy debates to grasp the immediacy of the situation.
This book is another in the annoying series on the war on terrorism from the Naval Institute Press. This rather drab, unilllustrated read will put any but the most interested readers to sleep. Let us only hope that the publisher returns to what it does best – naval history – and stop straying off into new fields.

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