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Civil Defense

The events of September 11, 2001, ushered in a new era in American history. Never before in the history of the nation had such damage or loss of life been heaped on the people of America by an amorphous nonstate organization clearly bent on destroying the United States. The source of the threat notwithstanding, the asymmetric effects of the attack spawned an avalanche of homeland security public policy documents, most of which were focused on preventing, protecting from, responding to, and recovering from acts of terror. The focus of these policy documents was, is, and will likely remain a top-down approach to counterterrorism and antiterrorism. This entry discusses civil defense policies, strategies, and departments in the federal government from post–World War II to the present.

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