Security and Defense

The Security and Defense program at the Institute of the North conducts research and educates policymakers on strategic issues relating to the defense of the United States that particularly concern decision makers in Alaska and at the state and local level throughout the nation. Since its creation, the Security and Defense program has assisted Alaska’s legislature in calling for a missile defense that provided protection to all 50 states.

Further, the Institute has joined with think tanks and policy analysts from many other states to form an independent working group that closely follows security threats to the United States and seeks to illuminate the value of land, sea, air and space-based missile defense. Recently the program has worked to educate state leaders on issues ranging from the threat of electromagnetic pulse to critical infrastructure because state governments will be first responders in any scenario that disables telecommunications, power, transportation and medical services in their region.

See related documents for examples of past work in this area.


The Institute of the North’s Security and Defense Program published for many years the Vanguard, a newsletter to provide information on national security to state and local policymakers. In a series of articles that to help local and state-level policymakers weigh in on homeland security issues, these weekly e-newsletters have addressed such issues as missile defense and the space-based option, energy security, state portfolio reviews and divestment, electromagnetic pulse attack and port and coastline security, in addition to highlighting the ways in which local leaders are contributing to security at their level.

There are many venues toward achieving a better prepared civil and military response force. The Vanguard addressed the current challenges facing America’s homeland security structure while highlighting the innovation of other states in confronting those challenges and suggesting practical ways for the state and local leader to implement security strategies of their own.