In the Common Defense

National Security Law for Perilous Times

In the Common Defense

The threat of terrorism places U.S. national security police at the crossroads of security and liberty. This book focuses on the legal issues surrounding the war on terror. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants an honest review of the law and an accessible understanding of how law relates to U.S. national security. This is also a book about national security government and why it is dependent on good process and the moral integrity of those who wield its power. This is at heart a book about the process and practice of government and what we should mean when we refer to "good government."


"Americans want the government to protect them, and they want to be protected from their own government. These two imperatives must coexist. Baker argues persuasively that not only can they coexist, they can reinforce each other."
John J. Hamre, President and CEO, Center for Strategic and International Studies

"Judge Jamie Baker very ably tackles the central challenge facing our country in the post-9/11 world ensuring our physical security while preserving the integrity of our Constitution and the principles it enshrines."
The Honorable William S. Cohen, former Senator and Secretary of Defense

"This splendid book should be read by anyone who cares about national security and the law. Jamie Baker has written a clear, thoughtful, and inspiring book that gives the reader an appreciation for national security law and process from the inside out. The book ably explains the substance of the law while placing equal emphasis on the practice of law, and the importance of integrity and courage to that practice. Drawing on his own experience, Baker demonstrates that one can be loyal to our Constitution and the rule of law at the same time that one is dedicated to protecting the physical security of our nation."
Janet Reno, Attorney General, Clinton Administration

"Judge Baker's book on national security law and process is important reading for policymakers and any citizen interested in America's security. His analysis is clear, compelling, and accessible to the public at large, not just lawyers. Baker's book demonstrates why nonproliferation must form the essential core of U.S. national security law and policy. Baker draws upon his own experiences to demonstrate that the rule of law is not just about liberty, but also about our moral authority and is therefore an essential element of our nation's security."
The Honorable Sam Nunn, Former U.S. Senator, currently Co-Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative

"Jamie Baker has done a masterful job of simplifying the complex world of the national security process and the applicable laws that govern. A must read for all, lawyers and laymen, interested in the complexities of issues confronting us in the global war on terror."
Henry H. Shelton, General USA (Ret), 14th Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

"National security law and process matter. Indeed, they are central to effective foreign policy. This superb overview of these critical issues is must reading for all concerned with American leadership in a dangerous world."
John Norton Moore, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for National Security Law, University of Virginia; former four term Chairman of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on National Security Law