James Jay Carafano
Before 9/11, most Americans believed they were safe from foreign attack. The smoking holes in the heart of New York City and the side of the Pentagon set them straight.
Perhaps the most consequential aftermath of those horrific tragedies was a national consensus to take homeland security seriously. Congress established the Department of Homeland Security, not just as a federal agency for our protection, but as the hub of a national enterprise to ensure a unified response to foreign threats and disasters.
The Department of Defense established NORTHCOM, a domestic military command dedicated to protecting the homeland and providing military assistance to civilian authorities for disasters and domestic response. These were unprecedented institutions, with the mission of safeguarding the safety, prosperity, and freedoms of Americans as rigorously in peacetime as in times of war.