Let’s Talk National Security

National Security is always a good reliable political prop….my favorite is “all options are on the table”…..

From here on we shall call it NatSec…

What is it? This NatSec thing.

National security is a corporate term covering both national defense and foreign relations of the U.S. It refers to the protection of a nation from attack or other danger by holding adequate armed forces and guarding state secrets. The term national security encompasses within it economic security, monetary security, energy security, environmental security, military security, political security and security of energy and natural resources. Specifically, national security means a circumstance that exists as a result of a military or defense advantage over any foreign nation or group of nations, or a friendly foreign relations position, or a defense position capable of successfully protesting hostile or destructive action.

Or another look……

National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic power, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States of America after World War II. Initially focusing on military might, it now encompasses a broad range of facets, all of which impinge on the non military or economic security of the nation and the values espoused by the national society. Accordingly, in order to possess national security, a nation needs to possess economic security, energy security, environmental security, etc. Security threats involve not only conventional foes such as other nation-states but also non-state actors such as violent non-state actors, narcotic cartels, multinational corporations and non-governmental organizations; some authorities include natural disasters and events causing severe environmental damage in this category. Measures taken to ensure national security include: ⁕using diplomacy to rally allies and isolate threats ⁕marshaling economic power to facilitate or compel cooperation ⁕maintaining effective armed forces ⁕implementing civil defense and emergency preparedness measures

Matters not which definition one prefers….the fact is we will soon pick a president and so far NatSec has not shown its head in the debates….if it is so damn important then why not?

… national interests are the DNA of strategy and the underlying structure upon which every nation bases its strategic thinking.  To understand America’s current actions on the international stage requires a look deeper than the partisan-inspired rhetoric in the headlines. One way to approach this is to elevate the discussion beyond threats and adversaries to an analysis of national interests.  Interests drive political decision-making and help us understand U.S. foreign policy. They describe the “why,” reveal the underlying logic, and provide the standards of measurement upon which to base decisions.

Strategic thinkers with military backgrounds often tend to fixate on threats.  Without question, at the tactical and operational level, threats provide a valuable lens.  However, when facing strategic-level complex adaptive problems, such as great power competition and trans-regional violent extremism, a focus solely on threats could quickly lead to miscalculation and loss of focus.  If this occurs, the U.S. could find itself trying to chasing competitors everywhere, thereby remaining reactive instead of proactive, hence, strategically adrift.   

Beyond this, discussion of interests is valuable because it helps strategic thinkers approach problems with a more open mind.  Fundamentally, if strategic thinkers focus on interests it helps move beyond one-dimensional discussions on positions.  Positions change, interests are less dynamic and remain more stable over time.  Where positions are solutions, interests reveal the concerns, desires, and motives that underpin those positions.

https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/starting-why-national-security-strategy-and-americas-national-interests

Maybe if candidates put more emphasis on NatSec we could start a real conversation about it…instead of platitudes.

https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2020/01/14/national-security-has-barely-made-the-debate-stage-here-comes-the-iran-crisis/

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

3 thoughts on “Let’s Talk National Security

  1. Over here, it would be unusual for a serving ‘military person’ to make any comment during an election. However, some retired army chiefs were interviewed during the last election. They were on the news making anti-Corbyn statements, saying he would be a risk to national security as Prime Minister.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. There is a law that does not allow a military person in uniform from making statements of a political nature…..some say that is what got MacArthur in trouble in the 1950s….chuq

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.