Columns / Discourse / April 9, 2014

The greatest threat to U.S. security: Ignorant budgetary cuts

Above all things, when the founders of this nation brought forth draft after draft of a constitution for the new country in a new world, security was consistently a top priority. Protecting the nation today is, of course, much more of a difficult task than it was in 1776, but why is that? What is the greatest threat to American security in this modern day and age, the 21st century?

All over the world, conflict is brewing; I could list them, but if you’re reading the political columns, you’re most likely already aware of a majority of them. The fact of the matter is, no matter how many separate conflicts I could list, none of them would be directly relevant to what I believe is the greatest threat to American security.

What is worse than a country invading the countries around it? What could compare to bombing neighboring countries and murdering civilians, dividing countries and territories with walls? What could possibly be worse than war? We see it happen every day on television; we hear about Serbian children dying in their civil conflict, but do we actually feel the number of innocent casualties?

Of course we don’t. Many could say that they do, but I don’t think all of us, including myself, have truly grasped the concept of dying children in a war. Besides the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the most significant attack on America from an outside country was the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, and before that the British invasion of Washington DC in 1814.

Compared to other countries around the world, America’s home front has been left relatively untouched, no matter where our troops have been fighting. So what does this have to do with American security?

The answer is everything: the greatest threat to national security is the fact that not many understand how necessary the funding of national security is.

No matter the number of conflicts posing threats around the world, America is nothing if we do not protect ourselves in an efficient manner. The country is a much larger place than it was when it began, obviously, and technology has also made mass attacks on other nations very real and much easier than it was in the past.

Since World War I, the world, as whole, has known that war will never be the same as it had been in the 19th century. We are no longer fighting on an open field with muskets and bayonets in bare feet or on horses. The wars America may or may not face now or in the future revolve around weapons of mass destruction: poison gas, nuclear bombs, assault weapons and countless other means of human destruction exist today and are much harder to stop than a man on a horse with a dwindling number of bullets.

If we were still relying on Paul Revere to tell us if our enemies were on our doorstep, then perhaps national security would not be such a challenge. Sadly, the word is not as simple anymore, and security comes at a significant cost.

Is such a cost worth it, all of the tax payers’ dollars and time and effort from agencies such as the FBI, CIA and, not to mention the United States Armed Forces?

If it isn’t, we may as well just surrender ourselves to the next country that chooses to exercise and show off its power by utilizing violence.


Shannon Caveny

Tags:  American citizen defense budget drone strikes homeland security international intervention isolation terrorism threat

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