Imagine for a moment a world without national borders. In this world, people would have the ability to travel anywhere without restriction; they would be able to live anywhere without regards to place of birth; they would be able to shop, to learn, and to converse with people of many races and cultures. This kind of world would necessarily be one in which global rules of conduct are universally known and accepted, where goods and services have standard and consistent values, where cultural differences are reasons for celebration rather than for discord. Okay, now open your eyes and take a look at the world we live in. Humanity has yet to reach the stage of development that would make such a world possible, and at the rate we’re going, we never will.

Humanity is still stuck in the stage of development that is illustrated by fierce nationalistic pride, religious-borne conflicts, resource abuse, and tyrannical and/or corrupt governments. A clash of cultures is currently being played out on an ever-growing geopolitical scale, serving to remind us that we may be approaching another turning point in our shared history. At the same time, individuals throughout the world are empowering themselves with thoughts of personal freedoms and a better physical existence. This dichotomy presents societies with a quandary and addresses one of the central tasks assigned to government in today’s world: How does government best protect its citizens, its territory, and its interests in the world? Summed up, these are referred to as National Security.

Because of the state of today’s political and cultural atmosphere, National Security takes on great importance in America. Our government has done a pretty good job the last half-century at raising our standard of living, but often at the expense of other nations. We have secured more privileges and more freedoms for ourselves, but often at the expense of other people. We have created and produced magnificent works, cures, and technologies, but often have kept them from benefiting everyone. We have assisted nations in trouble, and then empowered corrupt regimes to run the show. In short, our government has managed to show the world both the best and the worst of the American culture and creed in the same breath time and time again. We have made plenty of people angry along the way, and lately we have made plenty of threats. America is now being viewed differently both by our “friends” and by our “enemies.” No longer the champion of liberty to all people, our enemies have learned to exploit our duplicity in this area and have gained millions of followers that no longer trust the United States to be the country that fought off the Nazi and Japanese war machines in the name of freedom in World War II. These new enemies are ready to fight us in the streets and to the death. Meanwhile, many of our “friends” have learned that friendship to the United States is a conditional status based on what you have that we want or where your land is located. This kind of friendship naturally gets established as one of convenience, and the sentiment is returned two-fold and with a bitter taste. Feeling exploited, and rightly so, these governments send their problems to us through their refugees and migrants, in effect calling in their chips.

The result is an America that has a greater need to know who and what is coming over our borders; a greater need for international cooperation; a more effective military and intelligence apparatus; and well defined, enforced immigration and weapon laws. A look at the state of our various security measures will show the rational person how irrational our government is when it comes to actually serving the citizenry.

From overlooked reforms to misappropriated funding to politically correct barriers and socially inept policies, our national security is disorganized, irresponsible, and threatened at the same time. The federal government, who is currently wholly responsible for the task of national security, continues to make blunder after blunder when seeking ways to protect Americans. In many cases, Common Sense reasoning has been abandoned in favor of political gamesmanship, corporate profits, political correctness, and irresponsible representation from our elected officials. They spend more and more time protecting and enriching their business benefactors and reinforcing the victim mentality of society than they do protecting their constituents from actual danger. The politicians and our federal government create and implement many programs that have not been thoroughly thought out, wasting billions of tax-payer dollars that could be used to cut deficits or shore up social infrastructure. It is time for citizens to demand policies and actions that will actually solve the problems instead of creating new ones. It is time to stop approaching the world with two faces. It is time to end the confusing regulation and the fraud.

While I recognize that many factors have combined to put us where we are now, we might keep in mind that the goal of government should be to address and satisfy the tasks it has without over-complicating the rest of our lives. Over-complication got us to where we are now and it’s going to take whole new ideas, or a willingness to enforce existing ideas, to get us out of this mess. I also recognize that this mess is so big that to really clean it up will take decades of follow-up work, but the necessity of the task still remains, and so the task should begin. Someday, we might not need to worry about protecting our national borders, but as long as we do, we should have a plan that achieves that goal and fosters mutual trust. So the next several essays will look at the issues facing this country with regards to National Security. I don’t claim to be some kind of expert by any means. I’m just a man with a clear view at Common Sense and a desire to make the world a saner place.