Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Raw Deal

Much of life is based on compromises and balancing acts. In the safety industry, we balance the gain life expectancy and reduced incidence of health problems associated with eliminating a problem chemical with the negative effects of eliminating a chemical. It is the same in national security. There is a tradeoff between allowing our national security professionals access to communications without tipping our hand to terrorists, and keeping the government out of our private life. Ever since 9-11 changed how I look at terrorism, I have leaned toward national security. I have no interest in surrendering to Islamic Supremacists, and I am willing to let the military and spies fight the war to win it.

What if the government isn't interested in fighting the war? What if the administration likes the powers that were granted to achieve victory, but views Islamic Supremacism as a distraction from its agenda? I had been planning to make this argument here, but David French got it precisely with his most recent columns. Intelligence assets and military might are only useful as long as the leadership has the will to use them:

Those of us in the “national-security Right” (to borrow Mr. McCarthy’s excellent phrase) seek a national defense that is both constitutional and effective, but a defense establishment that lacks the strength of will to act even on the best of intelligence will be utterly ineffective no matter the metadata.
Read the whole thing.

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