As this issue of Proceedings went to press, Americans were commemorating the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It seems not a day has passed since that tragic event that experts and pundits haven't discussed when and from where the next attack would come. Scenarios have ranged from dirty bombs smuggled into U.S. harbors to assaults comparable to those carried out in Mumbai last November. What most of these projections had in common was that they would be large-scale events, designed for maximum shock value, similar to the destruction of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon. No surprise then that many of the articles in our first homeland security issue from October 2008 focused on these types of threats.
But the past year has shown that we need to be attuned to dangers that, while not necessarily new, are ones usually far from the public's consciousness. These threats may not have the same immediate effect as 9/11 but they can be just as damaging, if not more, to the long-term security of the United States. That is reflected in this year's coverage.