National Security is a state of political, economical, and military stability that a country can achieve by means of efficient leadership. This level of stability will be achieved, if a nation has formulated policies which can effectively address its economic, political, as well as military concerns. Such a policy must have sound, economical plans which can help improve the citizens’ welfare. This helps guard against economic insecurity. Politically, the policies should be able to ensure that a country is stable, so that the citizens do not face up to political instability. This will require clear guidelines outlining the nature and obligations of the key political positions in a country to ensure that only qualified people ascend to the country’s leadership. Finally, a country should ensure that its policy is capable to provide a strong military force which is enough to defend the country from external attacks.
The purpose of this study is to highlight the major challenges which are posing threats to America’s national security and their possible solutions. Studies have shown that the country has not had an exemption from the challenges relating to national security. To be specific, the key factors that have been posing challenges to the American national security include the economic, political, and the military threats. This paper discusses these factors while also presenting their possible solutions.
Economic threats to the national security
Economically, Mantell states that America is facing some problems that have caused major drawbacks in its attempt to enhance its national security. First, the country has been experiencing the balance of payment crisis, which has resulted from lack of a well balanced trade between America and its trading partners triggering various reactions (1). In order to solve this problem, the government should encourage importation. This can be realized by funding the local industries, so that most of the commodities, which are obtained from outside, are made available locally, and the surplus will be exported.The result would be a favorable balance of payment which will ensure economic security for the country. According to Walker, another economic problem, which has led to economic insecurity in the country, is the “Bank Run problem.” This is the situation whereby most of the banks’ depositors rush to withdraw their money from banks in order to spend them in household needs or to invest in other areas, which prove to be better (3). It leaves the banks with a limited amount of money to lend out for investment purposes. It complicates the control of money supply into the economy. To manage this problem, the banks should increase their depository interests’ rates so as to encourage people to continue to deposit their money. The government should also intensify the sale of its securities at favorable prices, so that people are encouraged to buy securities. The authorities will control the excess supply of money into the economy. The National Economic Council has also identified predatory lending as another source of financial insecurity in the country. This is a practice in which unscrupulous lenders entice the borrowers to enter into borrowing agreements with them (2). Therefore, it has made it difficult for the economic policy makers to plan the economic activities successfully, since the actions by the unscrupulous money lenders are very unpredictable. In order to curb this problem, the government should declare this activity illegal and emphasize on the intention to follow up every economic activity in the country. This would help ensure that the means of financing facilities are acceptable. According to Wiedemer, Wiedemer & Franko, another serious source of economic insecurity is the increased debt burden on the households and the financial institutions (4). This has been caused by the quest for investment and expansion of the already existing investments; which at times prove to be less viable. In order to solve this problem, the economic policy makers should control the rate of investment activities and assist the investors identify economically viable investment options that would ensure cash inflows. There has also been a rapid increase in prices of commodities like oil because of speculation in the flow of money. In order to solve this problem, the prices of oil, which impacts on that of other commodities, should be controlled by the government (Friedman 1). Another key economic problem related to insecurity is unemployment. This has lead to the general decrease in the peoples’ standards of leaving in America prompting many, especially the youth, to involve themselves in criminal activities. To help solve this problem, the government should increase its expenditures towards the creation of employment opportunities. Tita adds that the government can also help this situation by having the bank rates reduced so as to encourage more investment activities which will further create employment to the unemployed (1). Some of the American, foreign investments have also attracted bitter exchanges between the country and their hosts. This has caused a state of insecurity both internally, as such country’s can revenge whenever they feel threatened or betrayed, and externally, as the country may lose its investments to such forces as riots (Moseley 6).
Political threats to the national security
Politically, the country is facing some problems which have led to the general threat of the national security. Brody identifies the coming up of the political opposing radicals as one of such political threats (1). These radicals have come up with movements such as the “Madison” and the “Occupy” mass movements which are fighting for a mass based third political party. This has often caused political unrest affecting the whole country (McCann 57). In order to clear the already looming political danger, the government should lay down non-harsh policies to guide the activities of the movements. Additionally, the government also faces the problem of insufficiency of funds to support its activities (Jewett 39). To help this, Ferguson advices that the government should emphasize its collection of taxes while at the same time increase its investment activities within and outside the country to enable it get enough funds for its activities(Boaz 33). On his part, Friedman notes that the American citizens also lack confidence in the democrats and republicans leadership especially the way in which they handle the financial crises (1). Merry argues that this has led to reduced support of the government by the public and instead resulted into a lot of criticisms causing insecurity (1). The government should, therefore, try and rebuild this confidence by consulting with the public before they make the major financial decisions. Jacobs & King also note that the government has been faced with the problem of increasing wealth imbalance among the citizens (281). Berkin argues that in order to solve this problem, the government should try and come up with policies which emphasize on the economic, regional balance so that every citizen is given the opportunity to access the public resources (370). Mancuso also identifies corruption as another threat to America’s national security (1). The citizens are normally tempted to take action against those who are found to practice the vice in public offices (Kazin, Edwards, & Rothman356). Therefore, in solving this problem, the government should enact a consistent quality, assurance policy, which can help ensure that the corrupt officials are not in public offices (Montgomey 1).
Military threats to the national security
As a central factor in ensuring national security, any factor that affects the effectiveness and efficiency of the military indirectly impacts on the security of the nation (Pion 563). It is, therefore, obvious that any government must strive to eliminate such problems as causing barriers to the functioning of its military. America has not been an exemption. The country has experienced a number of challenges which have continued to threaten its military. First is the threat of terrorism (Davis 1). The country has been under threats from some of the enemy countries forcing its military to carry out a number of peace interventions. Because of this, the country’s military has had to maintain a constant watch out, so that it may not be attacked by the enemies at any given time. Haley notes that because it is the obligation of the government to control that the country is thoroughly secured from external attacks; it should endeavor to put more effort in the military recruitment and training (1). In addition, the government should try and make peace with the enemy countries so as to end any possibility of attacks (Zenko 34). According to Heffner, the military is also faced with the problem of information leakage to the enemy countries (1). This is dangerous for a country which is always targeted by terrorists (Hillman 232). Therefore, the military should be more cautious with its secrets such that they give the necessary information to the citizens. It should also come up with more confidential information delivery gadgets which can not be hacked into by the enemies. Finally, Nile & Martin have also noted that the country’s military is also challenged financially and, therefore, making it difficult to achieve its financial needs (67). This has minimized the possibility of the military carrying out of extensive research and development of new security ideas. Since the military is a key sector in the government, the public should be allowed directly to support it financially (Trubowitz, Peter 77).
In conclusion, it is evident that America, just like any other country, faces a number of challenges in trying to enhance its national security. Therefore, to attain the high level of national security, the country has to solve the current political, economic, and military problems that are currently causing threats to its national security. Even though this may be costly, the study has illustrated a number of recommendations which can help make it a reality.