For decades, policymakers used theories developed by strategists to preserve vital national interests, during the Cold War for instance. However, the 09/11 attack entailed a radical change in the American security policy. Even on the greatest superpower, violent non-state actors could now inflict mass casualties. Later, the terrorist strikes in Madrid (03/11/2004) and in London (07/07/2005) caused a similar transformation in Europe. Facing the same problems, both sides of the Atlantic started to understand the necessity of cooperation. This was the beginning of transatlantic homeland security.
What does homeland security mean? It has been defined in the U.S. National Strategy for Homeland Security as « a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur », in 2003. However, this definition is an American one and we will see that conceptual debates do exist between European and American analysts. The transatlantic cooperation about homeland security occurs in different fields such as intelligence services or border control. Nonetheless, some aspects of this partnership have been highly criticized: some say it could be more efficient, others highlight the Human rights violations.
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