Homeland security issues have emerged as among the most critical facing our country. Massive hurricanes devastated large swaths of the United States in 2017, the recovery from which is not over. Hostile governments and criminal groups have targeted American cyber and critical infrastructure, including U.S. elections. Ebola and Zika originated abroad but emerged at America’s shores. Central American asylum seekers have overwhelmed U.S. border authorities, while Washington has been paralyzed over disputes about how to respond.
As the threat of terrorism has grown, civilian agencies are increasingly thrust into the national security conversation. The laws and regulations that govern aviation, immigration, and international trade have become key parts of the national security apparatus. Debates over no-fly lists, border security, and the protection of airplane technology now take place alongside those over the military’s rules of engagement or the value of NSA programs. These new debates seem no less likely to disappear.