We Must Remain Focused on National Security
- 23 September 2007 by Author 0 Comments
We Must Remain Focused on National Security
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 09/23/07
While most Americans were preoccupied with the continuing saga of O.J. Simpson this week, the details of two alarming events that occurred in July came to light reinforcing the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of state sponsors of terrorism.
According to the highly regarded United Kingdom publication, Jane’s Defense Weekly, dozens of Iranian engineers and Syrian military officers were killed while attempting to mount chemical weapon warheads onto missiles capable of striking Israel.
According to the report, a joint Syrian-Iranian team was attempting to mount a chemical warhead on Scud missiles in Syria when the explosion occurred spreading lethal chemical agents, including sarin nerve gas. According to Andrew Semmel, acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for nuclear nonproliferation policy, the missiles were being armed and prepared for shipment to Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. Scud missiles, manufactured and proliferated by North Korea, reportedly have a range of 300 miles, easily able to reach Israel from Hezbollah missile sites in Southern Lebanon.
Also released this week was news that Israeli air strikes took out a series of bunkers in Syria. According to Israeli intelligence, the bunkers were being used by Syria to perpetuate a nuclear bomb project that the Syrians have long denied even existed. Based on the reticence by Syrian officials about the strike, and the failure to condemn the attack by Israeli warplanes, it is obvious to even the most casual observer that whether the installation was nuclear or not, it was clearly up to no good and Syria got caught with the proverbial “hand in the cookie jar.”
Since July when these two events occurred, North Korean, Syrian, and Iranian officials have been scampering between the three nations in an obvious frenzy to regroup on their WMD production and proliferation plans. Of greatest concern to Iran, is the fact that a tactical Israeli ground force was able to penetrate deep into Syria to target the bunkers a day before the air strike took place, as well as the fact that Syria’s air-defense system went down just as the squadron of Israeli fighters entered Syrian air space.
Semmel stated the obvious, that “good foreign policy, good national security policy, would suggest that we pay very close attention to what Syria is doing. We’re watching very closely. Obviously, the Israelis were watching very closely.”
Meanwhile, Iran continues to provide financial and military support to the terrorist groups fighting our troops in Iraq. Not only is much of the weaponry being captured by our forces manufactured by Iran, but an increasing number of Iranian military personnel are being killed and captured there as well, further validating the claims of a connection between Iran and the Islamic-extremist jihadists seeking the eradication of all non-believers, especially Americans.
These events underscore the nefarious nature of the triumvirate between Syria, Iran, and North Korea as a threat to global security, the new “axis of evil.” As obvious state sponsors of global terrorism, the continued development of nuclear weapons technology by all three nations, and their possession and intent to deliver chemical and biological weapons to terrorist groups should make it obvious that these countries clearly represent a significant threat, not only to the Middle East and Israel, but to our national security and global security as well.
In spite of these threats, one party of presidential candidates remains virtually silent on the external threats facing us now and in the future. While national security and international concerns are threatened, they debate health care, homosexual rights, whether a woman can run the White House and man-made global warming. While these are quasi-legitimate issues of varying significance, there are more pressing issues that they seem oblivious to, ignorant of, and unconcerned with.
Conversely, the level of awareness and concerns about these external threats is high among another party of candidates. Mitt Romney and Rudi Giuliani especially evidence a great awareness, as well as having well developed strategies for dealing with these threats that at least ostensibly appear viable. At least they’re aware and informed and talk about it; much more than can be said for their counterparts from the other party.
The next fourteen months will be filled with a frenzy of political talk as candidates jockey for votes in the 2008 presidential election. While each of us may have individual topics of interest, the more consequential issues of global and national security must be factored into the equation as we select our new president. After all, terrorism and threats from state sponsors of jihad seem to be much more a threat to us than the fabricated alarmism of man-made global warming and a host of other inconsequential issues. It’s not just a bumper sticker slogan.
Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at email@example.com.