National Security: Why It's Not a Dirty Word and Why It Should Belong to Us

National Security: Why It's Not a Dirty Word and Why It Should Belong to Us

The left never liked “national security.” Being a hawk, or strong on national security issues, was tantamount to being one of Nixon’s Watergate plumbers. If you loved our military, that meant you probably approved of burning Vietnamese villages. And if you approved of the work of the FBI, then you probably hated MLK. 

OK, I get it. The left is based on the concepts of social and human engineering and the belief that conflict is bad, war is always wrong, and permanent peace possible. Although human history quite simply negates such laudable assertions and desires, we now have a bigger problem than the consequences of unrealistic idealism on the left.

The strange truth is that in America in the last few years, “national security” has become a dirty word on the right as well. Today, whoa betide the conservative politician who sounds “hard-core” on defense, or who supports the need for America to be proactive in its military posture abroad. Unless you are named John McCain, you will instantly be tarred and feathered as a dastardly neocon in bed with Halliburton and McDonnell Douglas. Or worse. 

OK, I get it. The Bush escapades in Central Asia and the Middle East where not a success. Afghanistan is on the cusp of falling back into the hands of the jihadi warlords; Iraq is now an extension of Iran; and that’s before we even remind anyone about the dreaded WMD fiasco. 

The fact is very few Americans–even on our side–have positive thoughts when the phrase national security is invoked. And this is before we even mention the domestic brouhaha over Snowden, meta-data, etc. Millennials cannot relate to the idea of a good war–let alone a just one–and the G-Man or federal agent is no longer a cool icon, a position to be aspired to.

As a child of the Cold War who still ranks Red Dawn and The Hunt for Red October as two of the best and most stirring films of all time, this is saddening to me, albeit understandable. People are influenced by context, and when the highest ranking intelligence official in America makes the statement in recent unclassified testimony–as General Clapper did last month–that Al Qaeda now has operational bases in 12 nations, when on 9/11 they only had bases in one nation (Afghanistan), you really do wonder what our men and women have been fighting and dying for.

Nevertheless, we cannot just turn our backs, do a Ron Paul, and say it’s all bad; that national security is by definition wrong, that we should bring all the boys home and never ever deploy them again. You may not want to be a hawk, you may not want to chose war, but sometimes–as in 1941 and 2001–war will choose you.

This column was born of the realization that America is something precious that we need to protect and that its natural guardian, the conservative right, has relinquished its role as the spokesman for a strong and safe Republic. If the neocons were wrong–and dangerously so–and if the left has no idea what it is doing (viz Syria, Egypt, Libya, Ukraine, China, Iran, etc.), then it is our duty to pick up the baton, dust it off, and do it right.

My job is teaching our brave operators and agents how to understand today’s enemies and affect strategies to destroy them, directly or indirectly. My specialty is unconventional warfare and getting inside the mind of the enemy. The intellectual and media warriors at Breibart have recognized the need for our side to once again become the representatives of a strong and safe America and given me a platform to ignite the discussion that will lead to a smart strategy for securing America and Americans in 2016 and beyond.

Week by week, we will take the big issues and the less obvious but just-as-important issues that affect our national security and look at what is really going and what it means. In each case we will be driven to answer the only questions that really matter, the questions a strategist must answer:

  • What’s going on?
  • Why does it matter to America? 
  • What can we reasonably do about it?

Join us every Friday for The Briefing. We won’t be in the business of conventional wisdoms, or retread analysis that means nothing operationally. Together we will come up with a plan and retake our place as the supporters of a strong America. For in the end, without a safe republic everything else is irrelevant.

Sebastian Gorka is an irregular warfare and counterterrorism instructor for the US Army Special Operations Command (Green Berets), US Special Operations Command, and the FBI. The views expressed are his own. Dr. Gorka can be reached directly at:


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