I, like millions of other American men and women, am a veteran of the war in Iraq. I am a Purple Heart recipient for wounds received in 2003/04 from a suicide car bombing attack, among multiple other combat medals. I have served, travelled, lived, and worked for over four years in the Middle East and for another four years in western Europe. I am a progressive Modern National Security Professional and it is my job to advise on how best to secure America's position in the world and improve and further the progress of American society and values. In keeping with this belief, I will offer here from time to time my thoughts on how best to do this.
There are others that write with the same claim and same goals in mind. What makes what I have to say worth reading is that my advice is based not only upon acedemic learning and conversations with people who have 'been there', but also 'boots on the ground' experience in dealing with the subject of National Security on the frontlines as a participant, not just an observer. I am an expert through experience, not just acedemics. Unlike many 'experts', I do things, don't just talk about them. I have experienced and seen first-hand the benefits of good policy and the sad results of bad policy.
Today, we suffer from a frightened, single-sided view of National Security that fails to consider and address the causes of what creates threats to America, acts often irrationally but predictably to such threats, fosters an environment of fear and paranoia around them at home and abroad, and in the end creates instability, defeating their very purpose.
My goal is to change the way we act and think regarding National Security. We must get to the root cause of security threats and minimise or eliminate them. We have to dare to think and act differently as those who are on the side of right do, in a legitimate manner that builds coalitions and strengthens our allies. A nation that will not make a stand stands for nothing and will not stand at all.
We must return to behaving as a nation that is the legitimate leader of a free world, not a scared, suspicious, and angry country. We must stop re-acting to what happens to us and return to acting as the nation that we truly are: one that is based on liberty, freedom, and justice and has the strength and audacity to see that these values are upheld.