The remaining half of Obama’s first term continues to face difficult issues with respect to the economy, education and healthcare. Security is one issue often fading behind the prominence of job creation and federal deficit. Obama must still contend with ending two wars, securing the borders and a Wikileak in intelligence. The Administration has dealt with national security globally while concerns rest with securing the border. Issues revolving around national security could partially define the remainder of Obama’s term.
In 2007, Senator Obama stated support for the war in Afghanistan not Iraq. Efforts to exit Iraq continue as the Obama Administration no longer view Iraq a threat to security. The war in Afghanistan was ramped with addition of more troops this past year. Afghanistan and Pakistan are believed the residence of Al Qaeda radicals intent on America’s destruction. However, Obama removed the terrorist label from his May 27 document covering national security and Al Qaeda. His intent was to view extremist as enemies and not label the peaceful Islam community.
Nuclear proliferation continues to be one of Obama’s primary global concerns. His push for recent Senate approval of the Strategic Arms Reduction treaty, or START, proves Obama is serious about weapon reduction. The START treaty placed limitations on the number of nuclear weapons for Russia and the United States while incorporating a system of inspection. Obama hopes Russia will provide support against nuclear development in Iran. It could have been a good move toward improving national security and received strong bipartisan support including former President George Bush Sr.
President Obama continued global cooperation on national security by establishing the Center for Excellence with China during the visit with China’s President Hu. The goal of the center is a collaborative effort to share technology and improve security in China and Asia. Opposition to the center views an opportunity for China to gain and use American nuclear technology. China is a country holding considerable American debt and wants to establish a new role as a superpower.
There is still question concerning domestic security and the borders along Mexico. Obama has clearly expressed the southern border is a federal concern after the suit against Arizona’s immigration law. Obama does not seem to have a clear plan for dealing with border security as stated by Peter King, the new Congressional Chairman of Homeland security. This followed Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano’s scrapping the construction of a border fence.
Obama also must contend with leaks in intelligence as classified documents have found there way onto Wikileaks. It shows a definitive weakness within the intelligence community and could be problematic in future global collaborations.
Obama’s effort in establishing national security appears to concern global operations over domestic. The Mexican border is a potential entrance point for future “enemies” and Obama should secure the southern border from potential threat. Without domestic security, a single nuclear or biological weapon could be devastating to the United States. Global arm reduction without domestic security is not beneficial to national security.