Tag: national security

Say Goodbye to American Primacy and Hegemony

Kevin Doremus | United States

The United States has been involved in four military conflicts since the end of the Cold War: Serbia, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Of course, this is not counting proxy wars. The U.S. has spent an enormous amount of money and blood in regions that are known to be unstable. There needs to be increased restraint in how the government involves itself in foreign affairs.

Over the past decade, the United States has engaged in a policy commonly referred to as primacy, or liberal hegemony. Its advocates argue that the U.S. needs to preserve its power advantage and defend Western values such as democracy, universal human rights, and open markets. In Washington D.C., it is a strategy that has bipartisan support. Yet, the American populace has seemingly rejected this policy at the polls.

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Ocean Builders Seasteaders Facing Death Penalty

Jack Parkos | @laissez_faire76

Bitcoin entrepreneurs Chad Elwartowski and Nadia Supranee Thepdet have now been accused of breaching Thai national sovereignty with their seasteading homes created by Ocean Builders in Thai waters. The couple has been seasteading since March 2, 2019.

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Recapping President Trump’s Address to the Nation

Josh Hughes | United States

Tuesday night, President Trump gave his first national address to the nation from the oval office. The speech, which lasted just over 11 minutes, did not solve the stalemate between the House and Trump. Rather, it repeated the same rhetoric that Trump has used throughout the government shutdown.

Citing a “humanitarian and security crisis” as a reason for the address, President Trump outlined many reasons he believes Congress should accept his budget proposal. The beginning of the speech gave an overview of the opioid and drug crisis in America. Specifically, the president declared, “This year, more Americans will die of drug overdoses than in the entirety of the Vietnam War,”. Statistics from national archives confirm this, with over 72,000 and 58,000 deaths, respectively.

Stopping Drugs and Human Trafficking

Trump claimed that a wall along the border would stop the flow of drugs into America. He also focused on other things it would stop, such as human trafficking. An interesting talking point he did not touch on is the claim that terrorists were getting into the country via the southern border. This assertion has received considerable backlash in recent weeks.

Another large part of the speech hit on violence in America due to illegal immigration. The president mentioned the killing of Ronil Singh, the California police officer that an illegal immigrant killed. He also mentioned the recent “beheading” of a Georgia man by an illegal immigrant. This section of the speech was heavy with emotion.

To close out the address to the nation, he made a call for action. Trump implored Democrats to accept the bill that he and other top officials have proposed. He also asked the people to call their local representatives and demand they accept the deal, calling it an issue of national security.

Action from Trump’s Address to the Nation

It is unclear what will happen next. The president has said that he has invited Democratic leaders to speak with him on Wednesday. Yet, this is no guarantee that they will come to an agreement.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that the president is fearmongering to get a deal rather than stating facts. Thus, so one can assume that House Democrats will continue to resist the president’s proposals.

The main takeaways from the night’s address to the nation are that the president did not declare a state of emergency, as he had previously suggested. Also, there was little progress between Trump and the Democrats as both sides refuse to budge. Many are claiming the speech was just an attempt to incite fear for political gain, and that it was a misuse of a national Oval Office address. Others, though, consider it necessary to ensure national security.


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The Paradox of Excessive Executive National Security

By Thomas Calabro | United States

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and American President Donald Trump have always had a somewhat similar style of government. One that supports law, justice, and order, attacks critics in the media, and constantly seeks to garner power for the president of the state. But should the news of Pastor Andrew Brunson be a wake up call to the President of the true nature of the fear tactic employed by both Turkey d the US? In other words, if approach to combat terrorism under the guise of security, were used against us, would we support that same approach, it’s ethics, or even it’s legality?

This comes as the evangelical pastor from North Carolina was sentenced to house arrest for supposedly aiding terrorist groups such as the one that is believed to have  a orchestrated the coup attempt in Turkey in 2016. After this attempt to oust Erdogan, the Presidency saw itself garner new powers, and attack enemies in the media all in the name of combating terrorism. Events that create this level of unsettlement in the civilians usually brings the debate to an emotional state where the environment of debate becomes more unstable, and hostile towards the ideas of freedom, liberty, and individuality. For the US, the September 11th attacks were a defining moment where Americans truly feared for their lives of terrorists, and in Trump’s case, the murder of Kate Steinle seemed to have had the impact of “proving” to Trump’s future supporters, the harsh rhetoric against immigrants. 

The environment in the debate on national security is one becoming less reliant on fact and logic, and grows based on emotion. While many do worry about the stability and security of the state, and it’s citizens, we must be able to acknowledge that leaders are more than willing to use compromising moments, that instill fear and anger, to grab new powers. In those moments when your emotions overwhelm you, authoritarians look to push you to make the decision to give them opportunities to “protect the nation.” Those who object are not seen as having legitimate concerns with the policies and what they entail, but are labeled and dismissed as naive and out of touch with reality. Some are even labeled as traitors, who wish to create chaos, and let the bad guys win.

President Trump’s attitude towards this approach shows a level of hypocrisy among statists who support fear-based power-grabs, until they are used against their own beliefs and values, and suddenly find themselves on the opposition. Trump doesn’t seem to like this approach when it affects an evangelical American, so why should we be surprised when others stand up against very similar treatments against other religious, ethnic, and cultural people.

Rather than accepting fear of others, and anger towards those who disagree, we should embrace the ability to use logic and reason to fully vet our government, our people, and those who are deemed as a threat. Even if the state properly exposes threats towards national security, we must still be able to keep our government, and its officials in check, and not simply accept everything they say because they are some benevolent entity that can run our lives, thoughts, and emotions better than we can.


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