Wednesday, February 27, 2013

When security matters

When people decry a lack of leadership in my home country, which is the United States, there is I think too vague an understanding of how that relates to national security. And part of the problem is a failure to grasp the reality of a modern world where territory is no longer a goal.

In the past countries exerted their might with armies, and fought for ever more territory, which is anathema today, which is a good thing! For example at one time Americans believed it was our manifest destiny to control the entire Northern Hemisphere, which meant Canada was eyed as a possible military target someday.

Today, few Americans seriously think there would be any point in conquering Canada.

The world has moved on from territorial battles by the major powers and the big fights are in new domains where it looks like the United States is content to steadily fall behind.

People may notice--but it's hard to tell with the American public--that America no longer has a manned space vehicle of its own, so our astronauts hitch a ride with Russians. And I thank Russia for being such a partner in this regard. Soon China may also be such a partner.

We can't put our people into space on our own. It's just a reality.

We do still have a space program though, of course, so can put up probes, and of course, satellites including military ones, but somehow our political leaders let the ability to put our own astronauts into space, go.

They also don't seem to be working too terribly hard on cyber-security issues, except here and there whining about increasing data that our nation is losing terribly in that domain. That is, we're reportedly increasingly losing data.

So what do our political leaders do about security?

Seems they focus more on the physical military, and on "militants" and vague terrorist threats which while real, are constantly shifting, hard to nail down, and probably in the scope of history, of less importance to overall national security than having a data porous nation.

Nations compete. It's reality. And I find it hard to believe that enemies who can't even muster up enough strength to protect themselves from drones are going to decide the fate of the world.

I sometimes joke that certain other nations have the CIA and NSA as part of their own intelligence infrastructure because I fear our security is THAT BAD, so they can just raid our databases for everything.

Today major nations no longer fight for territory. Canada couldn't even offer itself to the United States to be conquered. But people can be slow to catch up to new realities and the US seems intent on waiting until it has completely lost before it even arrives to try and play the new game.

When security finally matters to Americans, it may only be when the wars of cyberspace have been completely lost, and a defeated nation wonders what might have been.

I don't want that to happen. It's past time for my country to wake up. Yes we must defend ourselves from terrorists, along with ALL our enemies.

Picking and choosing is a way to defeat. Reality doesn't care who you'd like to protect yourself from while you ignore another.

Don't let fakes distract you from your security, or when it's clear it doesn't matter to you, don't be surprised when you discover--you have none.

James Harris
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