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Download Our Own Worst Enemy: Asking the Right Questions About Security to Protect You, Your Family, and America epub

by Randall Larsen

OUR OWN WORST ENEMY provides a solid, practical, logical approach to personal security for all Americans and explains why the government is not prepared to help us in a time of crisis (Katrina, 9/11, etc.). Leading homeland security expert Randall J. Larsen details what we must do as citizens to protect ourselves, our families and our assets. The key, Larsen argues, is finally asking the right questions about homeland security, such as:-"How do we prevent a terrorist organization from becoming a nuclear power?" The media frequently poses the question: "What can we do to ensure that al Qaeda does not smuggle a nuclear weapon into the U.S. through one of our ports?" But the right question should focus on prevention -- and the answer is far different from the discussion that dominates the debate and the spending priorities of the Bush Administration and Congress.-"Who should be in charge of logistics during a major disaster?" Larsen says that it's not the military. The fact is, no one is better at logistics than American businesses such as FedEx, UPS, and Target. OUR OWN WORST ENEMY states that the government should encourage citizens and businesses to be active and learn to "posse up" while looking to the private sector to provide food, water, shelter, and transportation during a natural or man-made crisis.Larsen offers a strong combination of practical advice (Did you know a $1 mask can save your life in the event of a dirty bomb?) and wise examination of such key issues as the economy, borders and immigration, national health care, personal security, and more.
Download Our Own Worst Enemy: Asking the Right Questions About Security to Protect You, Your Family, and America epub
ISBN: 0446580430
ISBN13: 978-0446580434
Category: Other
Subcategory: Social Sciences
Author: Randall Larsen
Language: English
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition, First Printing edition (September 7, 2007)
Pages: 304 pages
ePUB size: 1944 kb
FB2 size: 1878 kb
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 531
Other Formats: azw docx mbr mobi

One of the better books on dealing with terrorism. I bought the book after seeing the author on one of the interview programs. I was impressed with his vision and ability to simplify portions of the problem. I started the book convinced it was worthy of a 5 star review. However, the loss of a star is the reflection of a persistent bias.

The author does a great job of dividing the threats into those which we must defend against and those which our best defense is preparation to deal with the consequences. The two examples used are bioterrorism and nuclear weapons.

He makes a great case that terrorists are not going to send their one and only , $250 million nuke into the country in a shipping container where they lose control. He misses an opportunity to bolster his argument with concept that the enemy of intelligence gathering is velocity. The time a ship takes to load then cross an ocean at 30 knots and unload ( or detonate in the harbor) is perhaps 20-40 times the time required to deliver the components via private jet. Further argument for an increased focus on aircraft and efforts to increase the care and rate at which intelligence data is analyzed.

To be successful the terrorist organization needs to obtain highly enriched uranium or other materials as they are very unlikely to be able to produce it. Once in possession of the materials the fabrication of a weapon becomes a far lesser challenge.

Bio weapons represent the opposite end of the scale with production well within the capabilities of a small organization using materials commercially available around the globe. Thus the challenge becomes the response to an attack.

Larsen's message that government is not the answer needs to be carried to the four corners of the country. People who would never think of allowing their health, life, car or pet insurance to lapse simply refuse to take the few essential steps which will greatly add to their family security in the event of a natural disaster or attack. He uses the example of people waiting in line for water just a few hours after a hurricane has passed in Florida. They are angry that the government has not yet provided them with water and yet they had 3 days warning of the approaching storm and probably left a home with 5 gallons of clean water in the toilet tanks and another 30 gallons in the water heater.

Larsen does a great job in taking the problem from the strategic issues down to what the individual citizen needs to do to prepare for something that is nearly as certain as death and taxes.

My sole reservation is that his bias shows up clearly in the way he describes problems or effective action, depending on which side of the political spectrum is involved.

With this slight lapse it remains a highly recommended read
I just saw Randall Larsen on C-SPAN's Book TV and I am about to order his book. He puts a healthy emphasis on the fact that the government is not able to help citizens in every situation, nor is it the government's job. To show how far we have come from the self-reliance we need, he told of a well-dressed woman who 36 hours after Katrina was demanding the government supply her with drinking water. She knew Katrina was coming; couldn't she have filled her bathtub, or bought a supply of water?, he asked. How dependent and childish can you get?

He told the story of a sheriff in Texas who is in charge of a county a third the size of Delaware, with 27,000 people. How would he deal with a security emergency? "I'd posse up," he replied. That is, he has all the backup he needs in citizens trained to help in law-enforcement.

Larsen is telling us to "posse up." Become aware of how to keep our families safe, and get training to be a part of law enforcement when the government can't supply enough manpower for our needs. We need to take responsibility for our security and be prepared to act when there is a crisis, instead of expecting the government to take care of us in every situation.
"Our Own Worst Enemy is the single best thing that has been written on homeland security and, as Randy Larsen suggests, every American should read it. Straight talking, full of common sense and written in an entertaining style that makes it hard to put down, this book asks the right questions and provides concrete recommendations that government officials, corporate executives and every citizen need to understand and apply."

ADM Steve Abbot, USN (Ret)
Deputy Homeland Security Advisor to the President

"Larsen advocates a seldom used tool to fight terrorism--common sense."

Bob Schieffer, CBS News

"Larsen explains how to ask the right questions---from the Oval Office, to the front office, to your kitchen table."

Bruce vanVoorst,
former Senior Correspondent for National Security, TIME

"This book should be required reading for all who are concerned about national security--and that is everyone...An all-absorbing, page-by-page tableau, comprised of provocative ideas, eminently rational concepts, and well-skewered current ideas and initiatives."

Donald A. Henderson, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine
and Public Health, University of Pittsburgh,
Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Service Professor

"Post 9/11, there are now many experts on homeland security. But Randy Larsen is a pioneer...This is a pragmatic and valuable book for average Americans, not just experts."

John J. Hamre
President and CEO
Center for Strategic and International Studies

"This is a must read for at least one member of every American family. Larsen is an unparalleled expert and tells us all what really matters for our security in this age of lethal unpredictability."

Arnaud de Borchgrave, Director of Transnational Threats,
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Got this for school I finally graduated and and don't know what to do with it.
Great book! Gives a new perspective on 'how' to think and act in regards to homeland security. We all have questions, the author guides readers on asking the right questions to mitigate effects and properly react to events that impact our nation. I highly recommend this book and this seller!
I think every politician and elected official should be required to read this book. Maybe they would learn a little more than getting votes and forwarding their own agenda and actually do something good for this country. In the end though individuals are responsible for their own security. As a team we're all responsible for our country's security.