In the United States of America, or in any other nation, a representative government which does not view the public safety of the people it represents as its top priority, and is willing to prioritize the interests of other nations or other geopolitical views above the safety of its public, is going to face serious challenges of credibility and authority. The long-term reality that U.S. government and institutional leaders will learn is that without a priority to national security in the U.S. homeland, efforts to expand global security will ultimately become undermined by a public frustrated by terrorist threats at home. The argument of 2001 that we need to “defeat the terrorists over there” has been wearing out its welcome with the public over 15 years, and if additional terrorist threats occur in the United States, the public is going to be demanding a significant emphasis of the “war on terror” first in the U.S. homeland.
Despite the efforts by some in Establishment circles to minimize the issue of terrorism to being less important than any other risk to public safety, the reality will remain in the United States that a very significant percentage of the public will view this as a top public safety issue. A large segment of the current American public will not tolerate “acceptable loss” tactics, which would argue that the loss of the relatively small amount of the total population killed in terrorist attacks outweighs the investment and geopolitical global issues that would need to be addressed for such public safety.
Public safety is a standard expectation as a priority of any nation from its elected representatives, whether it is the United States of America, or any country. Without public safety, we cannot expect to effectively exercise our other human rights, and in the case of the United States, its citizens’ Constitutional rights. For an individual nation-state, like the USA, its public has a right to expect its representatives will prioritize the national security of the actual United States itself, before that of its allies, “interests,” and other global geo-political goals. This should seem to be an obvious expectation of an elected representative government. However, when it comes to the issue of terrorism, this is clear-cut national priority is muddled by a very significant investment in an globalist military to pursue an “offensive” regarding the “sources” of terrorism in foreign countries (ignoring the “blind spots” previously mentioned).
The challenge with current tactics of an American “offensive” towards terrorism is that they are based on a U.S. military response (in other countries) and therefore they become dependent on a globalist position for national security decisions, rather than a priority on actual national security. Such tactics are driven by the assumption that without ensuring such security in other parts of the world, the U.S. cannot gain security in its national homeland. In the United States, this is further complicated by the Posse Comitatus court decisions which had the well-meaning goal of preventing the misuse of U.S. armed forces to suppress American people, but therefore also results in a limited role for U.S. armed forces in the actual protection of U.S. homeland from terrorists.
Therefore, outside of finite roles for U.S. National Guard forces, the extensive expenditure and resources of the U.S. armed forces are largely for threats OUTSIDE of the United States. This defense model makes sense in dealing with standing armies from foreign nations, but when it comes to the more complex and nimble irregular warfare by non-uniformed terrorists, this structured defense model drives a response to terrorist threats to a military response only for “hostile” foreign countries or countries with major areas that are occupied by “hostile” forces.
Such an operations model in the extensive U.S. military investment of 1.7 million men and women drives decision-making to prioritize how U.S. national security decisions regarding national homeland, as to how they will also impact overseas decisions in foreign countries. This model prioritizes global security first, with the U.S. national security as a component of such global security.
Recently, on September 7, 2016, the Secretary of Defense felt the need to issue a public message via the Twitter online messaging tool which stated: “#SecDef: some like Russia & #ISIL are intent on challenging global principled order. We will counter attempts 2 threaten collective security.”
But without a “war of ideas” against extremists and terrorists, we really don’t have a clear and shared definition of such a “global principled order,” nor do we have a correlation as to what such “global principled order” means in terms of U.S. national security regarding terrorism. The U.S. Secretary of Defense singled out Russia in “challenging global principled order,” but the reality remains that the cause of extremist terrorism is largely coming from other parts of the world, including threats within the United States.
So going forward, whether it is the United States or another nation (e.g., France), while we all seek support for global human rights (not what the Secretary of Defense’s message states), we must also prioritize safety of individual nation-states by those representative elected leaders to the population they serve. But that prioritization will not come from the leaders of the existing military establishment, because it would openly contradict with the way its resources and perceived global mission is being pursued to date.
However, the actual stated mission of the Department of Defense is as follows: “The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country.” The current Secretary of Defense defines this as protecting a “global principled order,” but to do so, we need to have definition of what global principles we are defending, and how this relates to an effective defense of U.S. national security. To do this, we must clearly define a “War of Ideas” with extremists.