Category: Review

Critical Review of the Book by Pamela A. Collins and Ryan K. Baggett

The following paper presents a critical review of the book by Pamela A. Collins and Ryan K. Baggett, titled “Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection”. The book was published in the year 2009. The review offers a summary of the book and its description, as well as the explanation of its strengths and weaknesses. I will also give my recommendation and opinion about the use of the text by homeland security community.

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The book “Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection” offers an insightful analysis of the existing gaps in the provision of security in America. The text offers protection plans and future options that the homeland security community in America must choose in the future, in order to keep its important infrastructures from all threats. The first chapters give a debrief background on the formation of the Department of Homeland Security, and how critical infrastructures have evolved in the US past the 9/11. The initial chapters also offer a review of important presidential directives, major legislations, and approaches that have been used to assess the major infrastructures in the provision of security. The following chapters deal with the classification of security infrastructures that fall under the federal management, including the National Incident Management Systems, Assessments for Infrastructure Protection, Energy Systems Fossil Fuels Nuclear Reactions, and Transportation Sector Marine, Road, Rail and Aviation.

The third section of the text gives a clear-cut analysis of the hazards that the United States of America faces in terms of insecurity from all perspectives. It also highlights on the role that the Homeland Security Department can play in averting the occurrence of an insecurity incident. The section also dwells much on the four pillars of homeland security, which must inform the practice of offering a safe environment in the wake of numerous hazards facing the country. The four pillars are listed as prevent, prepare, respond, and recover.

Similarly, in a professional manner, the text evaluates issues of facilities and national icons, public safety, weapons of mass destruction, natural disasters, and geological hazards, as well as accidents, which do occur in various working environments. Other areas that are extensively discussed, include environmental agriculture and food chemicals, and electronic transmissions. The text also offers notes on the issues discussed in different chapters, as well as bibliographies and index. In a nutshell, Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection” offers a compelling and complete evaluation of current vulnerabilities and security gaps, which can jeopardize the provision of security in the United States of American. The text extensively reviews the various systems that are currently in place and the available options to be used in the future in order to keep essential resources from attacks by terrorists.

The critical resources identified in the text include areas of banking, finance, food, water, transport, and telecommunication. The necessity to come up with the various ways of protecting the resources and infrastructure forms the major concern of the homeland security. The authors have proposed various methods of protecting critical infrastructure, including the establishment of standard security systems and measures. They also come up with the need to invest in the areas of information sharing, continuity planning, and creation of buffer zones, intelligence, and public-private partnership.

In their analysis, the authors focus on the most serious threats that each infrastructure component may face. They then proceed and give an analysis of how these infrastructures can be protected with recommendations of what should be done to guarantee a safe future. The book offers graphical analysis in figures and tables, as well as halftones, which reinforces the importance and relevancy of their analysis in relation to the creation of a secure environment in the United States of America. The highlight of the text is that it offers a professional analysis and evaluation of all essentially critical infrastructures, and recommends ways of protecting them from terror attacks. The analysis of what is being done and what needs to be done is excellent. It is done with a major focus on a situation, where the increasing security threat in the aftermath of the terror attack on the country is considered. Generally, the text offers a one-stop shop for all security agencies, and the synergy required to provide security in the country.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The authors’ view is that critical infrastructures consist of aspects of economic, political, and social systems that a nation relies on so strongly. Therefore, they believe that any disruption would bring negative consequences. The main argument in the text is that, because the United States of America relies on the identified infrastructures, their security is of great importance. Thus, they explore some of the critical infrastructure and how they can be protected from terrorist attacks.