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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.

2 comments to Is State A National Security Department Now?

  • Sara

    Well when Hillary becomes the Secretaray of State, then it means that it gets sort of Defence role. After all it was Hillary’s main claim that she was the best person to answer call at 3 a.m.

    I am very disappoited of Obama. It seems that he has already been dominated by Hillary and yielding to her agenda. I can see more wars in horizon. Obama has let us down.

  • I get your inkling, that announcing State as part of the National Security Team could signify that Bush-era thinking about what’s beyond our borders, but I don’t think it necessitates that assumption. Starting from a defensive posture, while not optimum, is I believe a good beginning, since the mess the Obama team is going to have to clean is huge and the world is such an unstable place. I don’t think, though, that State or Senator (oops!) Secretary Clinton or President Obama will be limited to that frame of mind for long.

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