Homeland Defense: DOD Needs to Address Gaps in Homeland Defense and Civil Support Guidance

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) protects the U.S. homeland through two distinct but interrelated missions: (1) homeland defense, which defends against threats such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and cyber incidents; and (2) civil support, which involves supporting other federal agencies in responding to major domestic disasters, emergencies, and special events. DOD has issued and updated several key pieces of doctrine, policy, and strategy for homeland defense and civil support, but it has not updated its primary Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support since ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. October 24, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) protects the U.S. homeland through two distinct but interrelated missions: (1) homeland defense, which defends against threats such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and cyber incidents; and (2) civil support, which involves supporting other federal agencies in responding to major domestic disasters, emergencies, and special events. DOD has issued and updated several key pieces of doctrine, policy, and strategy for homeland defense and civil support, but it has not updated its primary Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support since it was initially issued in 2005 and does not have a process--similar to that for its joint publications and directives-- to do so. The Joint Staff determined in August 2010 that joint publications on homeland defense needed a complete revision. The joint publication on civil support is also being revised. U.S. Northern Command, the combatant command responsible for homeland defense, is revising these publications to reflect changes in national and department priorities and to incorporate lessons learned from exercises and events such as Hurricane Katrina. Still, such key national and department-level strategies and significant events are not reflected in DOD's strategy, in part because the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas' Security Affairs does not have a process for periodically assessing the currency of its homeland defense and civil support strategy and ensuring that needed updates are completed in a timely manner. Reliance on an outdated strategy could hinder DOD's ability to effectively plan for and respond to major disasters and emergencies."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • October 24, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Homeland Defense: DOD Needs to Address Gaps in Homeland Defense and Civil Support Guidance, report, October 24, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc295892/: accessed June 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.