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This article provides a critique of general U.S. homeland security practices. It notes that the unique challenges posed by terrorist threats are managed by a largely secretive, self-contained security apparatuses; a relic from the Cold War era. It argues that the threat of terrorism could be better mitigated with an engaged civil society. Moving forward, it recommends that emphasis be placed on developing trust between federal agencies and the population, increasing transparency, avoiding the overstatement of and overreaction to terrorist attacks, as well as building resilience at all tiers of society.

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