"A website with close ties to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has outlined why it would be acceptable to kill all Jews and annihilate Israel."
External Threats to America
America has the good fortune of a remarkable founding, a geographically ideal location, and a strong security force spread throughout local, state and federal agencies, which are all designed to protect American citizens from harm.
Yet, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 altered the general mindset of most Americans on national security. While many American lives were lost during the wars of the 20th century, and the Cold War at times appeared to come dangerously close to nuclear escalation, those wars and conflicts never really reached American soil. But, as terrorist attacks are intended to do, 9/11 created a much more personal and direct threat in the minds of many Americans.
So what threats does America face? How real are they? What form could such attacks take? Would it look like 9/11 again? These are complex and difficult questions. Experts across the board are debating various threats to America potentially originating from Islamic terrorist groups, a nuclear Iran, Kim Jong-un and an unpredictable North Korea, the rising superpower of China, or the reemergence of a strong and dangerous Russia. Various sources are also raising concerns about the number of ways that another nation state, non-state organization, group of individuals, or even an individual could harm the United States, both physically and financially, such as via an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, another terrorist attack, ballistic missiles, currency manipulation, trade disputes, blocking of trade routes, or even labor battles--to name a few.
But others argue that these threats should not be a primary concern, particularly when analyzing America’s foreign policy. To some, internal threats and natural disasters loom much larger on the United States’ horizon. For instance, the rising national debt, unemployment and inflation are growing concerns. Others warn of the destruction of many fundamental civil liberties since 9/11. Still others focus on the condition of the environment as well as the havoc it has the potential to wreak in the future.
Nonetheless, almost all agree that protective measures must be taken by the federal government and military to protect America against external threats. Some believe that defensive measures are best taken through legislative efforts. Others believe that we should strengthen our defensive forces. To be sure, the fact that the United States has had so many peaceful years domestically is in part thanks to the defensive measures put in place. The questions now are which threats should we take most seriously and how do we respond to them?
This topic takes a look at numerous externalities which could compromise America's safety and security. It provides a comprehensive background on the threats that America currently faces, including various assessments of how serious a threat it might be and what should be done to prevent it.
More About This Topic...
Click thumbnails below to view links
- Internal Threats to America
- Missile Defense
- Should the Government be Spying on Me?
- 9/11 Infographic
- Quotes on America and Transnational Terrorism
- Transnational Criminal and Intelligence Threats and How They Affect America's Economic Security
- Regulations in America
- How Likely Is a Terrorist Attack on the United States?
- Education in Colonial America
- Gates Urges Inter-American Collaboration on Security Challenges