The pattern is too strong to be ignored: traditional conservatives (Heritage) and libertarians (Cato) have done a better job of of thinking about how a free society can defend itself without giving up its freedom than the Democratic or Republican establishment has. Unlike Democrats, they're not so worried about looking "weak" that they have to posture about every conceivable threat. Unlike the Administration -- well, they're sane.
Two well-known examples: Cato, for sponsoring the work of John Mueller, of Ohio State. (His influential 2004 essay, "A False Sense of Insecurity," is here in a large PDF file.) And, oddly enough, AEI, which apparently harbors an actual conservative among its neo-cons and "surge" enthusiasts. This is Veronique de Rugy, who has looked very critically at the homeland-security- industrial complex. I won't even get into Ron Paul....
A recent entry in the honor roll: James Jay Carafano, a West Point graduate who works at Heritage. His new essay, concerning the potential terrorist threat from small airplanes, is the first I've seen that both acknowledges there is some threat and proposes reasonable, proportionate steps to deal with it. Perhaps I'm biased because Carafano calls for elimination of the stupidest "homeland security" measure of all: the creation of a Potemkin air-defense zone called ADIZ, covering thousands of square miles around Washington. Even beyond my bias, this is a very good analysis.
Update: Ah, now this makes more sense. Veronique de Rugy is no longer at AEI but instead at a non-neocon, "classical liberal" plus libertarian stronghold, George Mason University's Mercatus Center. Phew!