Threats to National Security

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Next Steps in Addressing Threats to National Security

Addressing Threats to National Security
Gone are the days of the post-Cold War "peace dividend," when the world's remaining superpower could actually reduce defense expenditures. Since the time when the United States faced a nuclear threat from one other superpower with an assortment of satellite states under its umbrella, now we face threats to national security from a number of directions and sundry players. And with each player comes a varying degree of certainty about its capacity to wield weapons of mass destruction.

To meet this new and growing type of challenge, some experts calculate the United States would need to spend at least 4 percent of annual gross domestic product on defense over the next decade. Much work needs to be done to address potential threats to national security, including building better border security, strengthening the Homeland Security apparatus and improving security of information technology systems. Another needed domestic reform is elimination of excessive regulatory restrictions on trade imports in the name of national security.

Internationally, the United States needs to finish the job in Iraq and win the global war on terror. To protect our allies and pre-empt an Iranian long-range missile attack, we need to go forward with placing long-range missile defense system in Europe. We need to build an experimental missile-defense platform in orbit, and we need to lead an international coalition to halt Iran's nuclear development with tough economic sanctions.