Ensuring the safety of citizens is a critical part of the federal government’s responsibility. In times past, this was synonymous with military force. In today’s rapidly changing world, national defense encompasses much more.

We live in a world where you do not need military might to cause extensive pain and suffering. Consider the disaster of 9/11. The small-scale production of chemical and even biological weapons are a real danger. The potential of attacks on networked infrastructure and similar high-tech dangers are real.

There is a common theme here. Individuals and organizations no longer need the backing of a state to inflict mass casualties. As a nation we need to be able to counter those threats effectively.

The Department of Homeland Security, the Center for Disease Control, the State Department, and even the Department of Justice all have roles to play in defending our nation.