National Security

National Security

Policy/   Budget/

  National Security System/

Emerging Threats/  Regional Conflicts/

National security is a central mission of the US government; in 2011 over 6% of the U.S.’s GDP was spent on military and security operations to uphold the government’s responsibility of protecting its citizens. On 9/11/01, al-Qaeda redefined the United States’ understanding of national security threats and forever altered the organizations and operations charged with providing security to the American people. The slow bureaucratic overhaul of the national security apparatus that began with the proxy wars of the cold war era accelerated. There had not been such a dramatic shift in military organization and the conduct of war since the fall of feudal society and the rise of the nation-state.

The IC has compiled a clearinghouse of primary and secondary documents detailing national security policies, procedures, organizations and threats.


The policy that has guided the national security system has been redefined by each successive presidential administration and current events. Numerous think tanks, academics, foreign governments and media pundits are actively engaged in influencing the direction of national security policy.   Primary and secondary documents detailing the national security policy of the presidential administrations from the cold war era to the present day are contained in this section. [Read More…]


The budget needed to fund national security far exceeds the annual appropriations requested by the Pentagon.  The foreign interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan pushed Department of Defense spending to approximately $700 billion in 2012.  However, the money required to fund covert and intelligence operations, homeland security operations, provide for veterans and retirees and cover the interest on loans pushes the national security budget of 2012 past $1.2 trillion.  Primary and secondary documents detailing the money behind the national security system are contained in this section.  [Read More…]

The National Security System

The challenges to national security in the 21st century increasingly stem from non-state actors, such as terrorists and insurgents, loan wolves, and cyber-terrorists, which have the ability to compromise the nation’s political and economic system.  The shifting nature of warfare has required an overhaul in the bureaucratic structure of the military and intelligence community and redefined the objectives of public safety organizations.   This section details the dizzying transformations in the national security system required to combat the threats of the 21st century.   [Read More…]

Emerging Threats

The list of threats to national security is in constant flux as technology evolves, weapon production and distribution increases and terrorist groups gain momentum. This section provides primary and secondary documents on current and emerging threats to national security, such as cyber-terrorism, lone wolves, and terrorist and insurgent organizations. [Read More…]

Regional Conflicts

Civil and regional conflicts rage across the globe and their outcomes have the potential to shift the global balance of power.  U.S. and NATO forces are slowly trying to disentangle from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars while upheaval in other countries are requiring increased attention.  Primary and secondary documents detailing civil and regional conflicts that already have or may in the future result in U.S. or international intervention are provided in this section.  [Read More…]