Subjectively defining threats to national security
Published: Monday, September 23, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 23, 2013 12:09
The understanding of national security has evolved with time in the United States. Until WWII, national security was only threatened when we had been attacked by an enemy like Pearl Harbor.
However, after WWII, national security took on a whole new meaning: anything that threatens democracy around the world is a national threat.
In Korea and Vietnam, national security was threatened by Communism. In the 80s, the Cold War was the greatest threat to national security.
Since 2001, the fight against “terrorism” from Muslim extremism is supposed to be “our greatest threat”.
First, we must attack the Taliban in Afghanistan. After all, we just can’t let a country feel free to train for covert operations against us.
Then, we were told Iraq was a threat to our national security. Why? Iraq allowed terrorists to train and they possessed chemical weapons (only a small portion of what our intelligence said they had).
Now we are told, by our president, that Syria is a national security threat because they fired off some chemical weapons on rebel forces trying to overthrow the authority of the country.
Though I agree that no country should use chemical weapons whatsoever, does Syria’s possessing chemical weapons equal an eminent threat to the United States?
The president answered this with his own words in a recent speech: “The Assad regime does not have the ability to seriously threaten our military. Any other retaliation they might seek is in line with threats that we face every day. Neither Assad nor his allies have any interest in escalation that would lead to his demise. And our ally Israel can defend itself with overwhelming force, as well as the unshakable support of the United States of America.”
Toward the end of the speech, however, the president makes the assessment that Syria “is a threat to national security.”
How can this be? If the Syrian government possesses no threat for retaliation, then how can they be a national threat?
For that matter, which of the ‘wars’ (no declaration of war has been signed by Congress since WWII) fought over the last 65 years have actually been fought over true national security?
Which one of the countries we have entered since the fall of the Nazi’s actually had, or have, the military power to stage an assault on America?
None of them. National security is just the rallying cry of the politicians and their corporate cronies (the Industrial-Military Complex per Dwight Eisenhower) to promote war-for-profit.
It is time to hold our elected officials accountable and to promote real national security by protecting our borders and our borders alone, instead of spending our energies trying to secure the leadership in other countries.
National security should be about the securing of our nation and that alone.