Homeland Security Books

These books are interesting and/or influenced my thinking considerably while I was researching "The Myth of Homeland Security." I don't always agree with what the authors have to say, or take what they say 100% for granted, but they're worth reading!

Gerald Posner Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11 - Posner's terrific. He writes with clarity, anger, and deliberation, and describes the stupidity of the bureaucrats who supposedly protect our country. Descriptions of blunder after blunder after blunder leaves the reader numb and angry. I ran across a lot of the things Posner writes about while independently researching my book (Posner was not a source in my book) and can confirm the accuracy of many of the things he unearths. Scary stuff.
Michelle Malkin Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists Criminals & Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores - an impassioned and well-researched discussion of illegal immigration and how ineffective INS and current practices are. I found this book to be very sobering, indeed.
Bruce Schneier Secrets and Lies : Digital Security in a Networked World - A good overall thought-provoker about the state of computer security.
Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World - Another well thought-out and accessible book about the New Age of security by one of the industry's "big thinkers"
Bernard Lewis

What Went Wrong - An analysis of how the Muslim world, which was once well ahead of the Christian world militarily and technologically, turned into a backwater and remains that way to this day. Sobering and thought-provoking. I found the first section to be amazingly illuminating as Lewis runs through a brief history of the ongoing war between the Muslim world and the Christian world.

Paul Kennedy

The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers - Empires come and go. Often because of "little things." Kennedy looks at economics and conflict as a continuum and how they affected Japan, the US, Britain, France, etc. Sobering.

Rod Paschall

LIC 2010 - Special Operations and Unconventional Warfare in the Next Century - An interesting analysis of the future of unconventional warfare. What's neat about this book is it was written 10 years ago and a lot of what the author predicted has already come true.

Ron Westrum

Sidewinder: Creative Missile Development at China Lake - Ever hear of Bill Mclean? If you're an engineer, you'll be fascinated by this story of engineering substance over muscle, can-do over corporate mindset, and the greatness that results from Just Doing It Right. On a tiny budget, a visionary engineer did the "impossible" and created a weapons system in the mid 1950's that is still in use today.

Robert Coram

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War - John Boyd, a fighter pilot, invented a whole new branch of airwar strategy and tactics. His thinking appears to have been unique and he paid a price (and made a difference) for his gifts. I was particularly interested in the accounts of how screwed up the military's procurement systems are. "40 second Boyd" never lost a dogfight, and defeated everyone at Top Gun who ever challenged him in under 40 seconds.

Mark Riebling

Wedge: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11--How the Secret War between the FBI and CIA Has Endangered National Security - if this book doesn't make your blood boil you either work for the CIA or the FBI or you're inured to bureaucratic shenanigans. Meticulously researched and written in a direct tone, Riebling documents the internal struggles between our idiot intelligence agencies. If these chumps were half as good at fighting America's enemies as they are at fighting each other, 9/11 would never have happened.

Interesting Websites

These websites are interesting places to check out if you're interested in homeland security or high-level security/policy/government procurement issues.

http://www.jamesjesus.com A website devoted to James Jesus Angleton, head of counterintelligence for CIA. There are lots of interesting links from this site for those interested in espionage and general cloak-and-dagger stuff.
http://www.markriebling.com The author of "Wedge"'s site. Excellent material and a few good rants.
http://www.fas.org The Federation of American Scientists site. Collects a lot of interesting information about homeland security, weapons of mass destruction, etc.
http://www.d-n-i.net Defense and the National Interest - a site devoted to John Boyd's Reformer movement and Chuck Spinney's writings. Lots of interesting articles on here about the military industrial complex. Also John Boyd's presentations, which are fascinating reading (they read like Musashi or Sun Tzu)
http://www.cryptome.org This site collects all kinds of "open" material. Eclectic, interesting, and often sobering. Honestly, reading this site makes me think we need an official secrets act like the British have.