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Remember importance of national security as next presidential debate approaches

Courtesy of MCT

Patrick Seaworth identifies as a Republican.

Tuesday evening President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will appear in a town hall-style debate, in which they will field questions on foreign policy and national defense. Given the immediacy of recent incidents across the Middle East and Northern Africa, our foreign policy’s effect upon our national defense has been called into question, so perhaps instead we should focus solely upon national defense, and the extent of its need.
In the years following 9/11, our homeland security became the wake within which all other topics followed. As time has passed, so has the public’s view of the immediacy of this topic.
As Democrats have noted, Osama bin Laden is indeed dead. Yet, this is due to information stemming from President George W. Bush. According to an article published Oct. 12 in The Guardian, it was in 2007, after years of searching, that America was able to identify a man known as, “The Courier,” host to bin Laden in Pakistan. And, the decision to go after bin Laden, in the words of former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, was indeed bold, although it was a decision about 99 percent of Americans would have made.
Yet it would be naïve to think we are now safe.
“I would hazard to guess there are more foreign intelligence officers inside the U.S. working against U.S. interests now than even at the height of the Cold War,” said former deputy director of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center, Hank Crumpton, who led our response to 9/11, in a May “60 Minutes” piece.
America is, at all times, under threat from peoples, places and governments opposed to our ideals, despite hopes to the contrary, since our founding – evidenced by the War of 1812. We have had one option, in the words of two-time Medal of Honor recipient, Major General Smedley Butler, who was quoted on the conspiracy theory website whattoknow.info saying, “Let’s build up a national defense so tight that even a rat couldn’t crawl through.”
Yet, this still leaves the issue of projected defense.
It needs to be understood that Iraq and Afghanistan are not Vietnam; leaving will not put an end to the multitudes of groups determined to bring about our downfall, it will only change where they attack us. No matter our desire to remain within our own shores, we are an empire of beliefs, ones we have committed to defend.
Iran speaks of its interest in peaceful nuclear power, as though President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s October 2005 comment on The New York Times’ website, “Our dear Imam said that (Israel), must be wiped off the map, and this was a very wise statement,” never occurred. Despite our current administration’s attempts, the International Monetary Fund has predicted Iran’s economy is set to rebound in the spring, according to an Oct. 9 New York Times article.
These facts led Vice President Joe Biden to ask Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan if he would go to war with Iran, during the vice presidential debate Thursday. Former President George Washington left us this answer, “If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace … it must be known, that we are at all times ready for war.”

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