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The Concept Of "Security"

Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:00 pm

Former Democratic senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart made the following comments today on Democracy Now! in an interview with Amy Goodman. They are well thought out in my opinion.

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AMY GOODMAN: On the issue of global warming, this is an issue you take on. Gary Hart, author of The Shield and the Cloak: The Security of the Commons, you talk about military security, but you also talk about other ways to increase security.

GARY HART: I think we have to broaden our understanding of what it means to be secure in the 21st century. The 20th century clearly was a century of ideology. We defeated imperialism, we defeated fascism. We stood off communism. And that ended in 1991. And now, we're not clear on -- I mean, war on terrorism replaced containment of communism as our central organizing principle. But if you've lost your job, you're not secure. If your children are contaminated by pollutants, you're not secure. If your son or daughter loses their lives -- their life in Gulf War III, IV or V, so your neighbor can drive his Humvee, you're not secure. So we have to broaden our understanding of what security means to include the environment, to include energy, to include economic livelihood. And I don't know anyone else that's making this argument.

And second, the idea of national security is simply eroding, because America can't be secure if the rest of the world is insecure. So rather than go it alone, as we are right now, we desperately need international alliances and friends and partners, both to deal with terrorism, but also to address issues like global warming. The challenges of the 21st century include mass migration south to north -- the Europeans and we are suffering -- I mean, are experiencing this; climate change and global warming; weapons of mass destruction; and the list goes on. Those do not lend themselves to military solutions, nor can any single nation solve any of those problems.


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What are your thoughts? I think they are spot on.

Source: Democracy Now!
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