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Comparative U.S.-Israeli Homeland Security

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This report examines the premise that there are lessons from Israeli experience that might enhance the United States homeland security efforts. The research for this study included a literature review and field interviews with American and Israeli leaders in Washington, D.C., and Israel during the summer of 2005. The report addresses the common and unique threats facing each state and related homeland security issues and policies. It begins with the threats experienced by each nation, examining the respective homeland security organizational structures and ways of preventing attacks and responding to attacks that do occur. The report then compares each countrys homeland security program. Where appropriate, personal observations derived from the authors interviews in each country are included. The final section addresses a series of lessons the United States might consider in its efforts to improve its homeland security, as well as a discussion of where it might not be advantageous or feasible to follow the Israeli model. The United States and Israel each face a number of threats to their homeland -- some shared, some unique to each state. Some threats common to both the United States and Israel include the following Terrorism and the Global War on Terror, State Aggression by Sovereign Powers, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Trans-Border Issues. The report discusses the organizational structures that the United States and Israel employ to respond to threats, the countries efforts at preventing terrorist attacks, and comparative efforts to respond to an attack. The research and field interviews conducted by the authors to identify lessons from Israeli experience resulted in the following recommendations know your adversary, interagency cooperation, tight internal security, profiling, protected spaces, barriers, information sharing, public education, offensive military action, security decision making, compromise and appeasement, and advanced technology.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Government and Political Science
  • Civil Defense
  • Unconventional Warfare

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