Is State A National Security Department Now?
A bad sign for the character of the upcoming Obama presidency: Tomorrow, Barack Obama is expected to identify his “national security team”, including Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.
Since when is the Department of State a “national security” post? It’s the job of the Department of State to handle foreign relations – our interactions with people outside our borders. I see how that role could be related to security, but it isn’t a security role in itself. The security of the nation would be within the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. Must the Department of State be security-centered as well?
When the government organization that deals with the outside world is regarded as a security institution, it’s a sign that our nation is incapable of thinking about what lays beyond its borders without feeling insecure. That’s a serious weakness in our national character – a weakness that Barack Obama ought to be confronting, not confirming.
The Department of State will serve us best when it is focused on reaching out, sharing and cooperating with the world, instead of regarding everything unAmerican as a threat.