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What Does National Security Mean in the 21st Century?
The costs and benefits of immigration have always been debated. But as we work our way out of a tough economic recession, some wonder whether newcomers, especially those arriving illegally, are compromising our quality of life, taking jobs away from those already here, and threatening our security and sovereignty as a nation...
The question facing Americans today is how to create a system that meets our diverse needs—a system that values the role immigrants play in society, takes heed of today's economic and legal responsibilities, and keeps us strong and competitive in the future.
Following are descriptions of the three options presented for consideration in the issue guide:
Option One: National Security Means Safeguarding the United States
As the war in Afghanistan winds down, we continue to face the threat of terrorism, as well as threats from Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan. At the same time, traditional adversaries like Russia and China are gaining power. Our most important goal must be to safeguard the people of the United States.
Option Two: National Security Depends on Putting Our Economic House in Order
The United States cannot long remain a superpower if it is the world's largest debtor nation and runs huge budget deficits. We need to focus on increasing employment, eliminating our staggering public indebtedness and improving the balance of trade. Whatever steps we take domestically to improve the economy, it will mean spending less on the military and reducing the amount of money that flows overseas.
Option Three: National Security Means Recognizing That Global Threats Are Our Greatest Challenge
Our most urgent challenge is to address the long-term threats that endanger humanity and that demand an international solution. In the 21st century, we need to rethink what "national security" means. The greatest threats facing the United States—the risk of nuclear war, environmental devastation and global warming, pandemics, and the depletion of natural resources—also endanger other countries.