National Security Quotes

Quotes tagged as "national-security" (showing 1-30 of 42)
Barack Obama
“A nation that can't control its energy sources can't control its future.”
Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

Christopher Hitchens
“Hitherto, the Palestinians had been relatively immune to this Allahu Akhbar style. I thought this was a hugely retrograde development. I said as much to Edward. To reprint Nazi propaganda and to make a theocratic claim to Spanish soil was to be a protofascist and a supporter of 'Caliphate' imperialism: it had nothing at all to do with the mistreatment of the Palestinians. Once again, he did not exactly disagree. But he was anxious to emphasize that the Israelis had often encouraged Hamas as a foil against Fatah and the PLO. This I had known since seeing the burning out of leftist Palestinians by Muslim mobs in Gaza as early as 1981. Yet once again, it seemed Edward could only condemn Islamism if it could somehow be blamed on either Israel or the United States or the West, and not as a thing in itself. He sometimes employed the same sort of knight's move when discussing other Arabist movements, excoriating Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, for example, mainly because it had once enjoyed the support of the CIA. But when Saddam was really being attacked, as in the case of his use of chemical weapons on noncombatants at Halabja, Edward gave second-hand currency to the falsified story that it had 'really' been the Iranians who had done it. If that didn't work, well, hadn't the United States sold Saddam the weaponry in the first place? Finally, and always—and this question wasn't automatically discredited by being a change of subject—what about Israel's unwanted and ugly rule over more and more millions of non-Jews?

I evolved a test for this mentality, which I applied to more people than Edward. What would, or did, the relevant person say when the United States intervened to stop the massacres and dispossessions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo? Here were two majority-Muslim territories and populations being vilely mistreated by Orthodox and Catholic Christians. There was no oil in the region. The state interests of Israel were not involved (indeed, Ariel Sharon publicly opposed the return of the Kosovar refugees to their homes on the grounds that it set an alarming—I want to say 'unsettling'—precedent). The usual national-security 'hawks,' like Henry Kissinger, were also strongly opposed to the mission. One evening at Edward's apartment, with the other guest being the mercurial, courageous Azmi Bishara, then one of the more distinguished Arab members of the Israeli parliament, I was finally able to leave the arguing to someone else. Bishara [...] was quite shocked that Edward would not lend public support to Clinton for finally doing the right thing in the Balkans. Why was he being so stubborn? I had begun by then—belatedly you may say—to guess. Rather like our then-friend Noam Chomsky, Edward in the final instance believed that if the United States was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Christopher Hitchens
“Indifferent to truth, willing to use police-state tactics and vulgar libels against inconvenient witnesses, hopeless on health care, and flippant and fast and loose with national security: The case against Hillary Clinton for president is open-and-shut. Of course, against all these considerations you might prefer the newly fashionable and more media-weighty notion that if you don't show her enough appreciation, and after all she's done for us, she may cry.”
Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens
“As to the 'Left' I'll say briefly why this was the finish for me. Here is American society, attacked under open skies in broad daylight by the most reactionary and vicious force in the contemporary world, a force which treats Afghans and Algerians and Egyptians far worse than it has yet been able to treat us. The vaunted CIA and FBI are asleep, at best. The working-class heroes move, without orders and at risk to their lives, to fill the moral and political vacuum. The moral idiots, meanwhile, like Falwell and Robertson and Rabbi Lapin, announce that this clerical aggression is a punishment for our secularism. And the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, hitherto considered allies on our 'national security' calculus, prove to be the most friendly to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Here was a time for the Left to demand a top-to-bottom house-cleaning of the state and of our covert alliances, a full inquiry into the origins of the defeat, and a resolute declaration in favor of a fight to the end for secular and humanist values: a fight which would make friends of the democratic and secular forces in the Muslim world. And instead, the near-majority of 'Left' intellectuals started sounding like Falwell, and bleating that the main problem was Bush's legitimacy. So I don't even muster a hollow laugh when this pathetic faction says that I, and not they, are in bed with the forces of reaction.”
Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left

Mark Gevisser
“There is one key area in which Zuma has made no attempt at reconciliation whatsoever: criminal justice and security. The ministers of justice, defence, intelligence (now called 'state security' in a throwback to both apartheid and the ANC's old Stalinist past), police and communications are all die-hard Zuma loyalists. Whatever their line functions, they will also play the role they have played so ably to date: keeping Zuma out of court—and making sure the state serves Zuma as it once did Mbeki.”
Mark Gevisser

Alfred Bester
“No," Foyle roared. "Let them hear this. Let them hear everything."

"You're insane, man. You've handed a loaded gun to children."

"Stop treating them like children and they'll stop behaving like children. Who the hell are you to play monitor?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Stop treating them like children. Explain the loaded gun to them. Bring it all out into the open." Foyle laughed savagely. "I've ended the last star-chamber conference in the world. I've blown that last secret wide open. No more secrets from now on.... No more telling the children what's best for them to know.... Let 'em all grow up. It's about time."

"Christ, he is insane."

"Am I? I've handed life and death back to the people who do the living and the dying. The common man's been whipped and led long enough by driven men like us.... Compulsive men... Tiger men who can't help lashing the world before them. We're all tigers, the three of us, but who the hell are we to make decisions for the world just because we're compulsive? Let the world make its own choice between life and death. Why should we be saddled with the responsibility?"

"We're not saddled," Y'ang-Yeovil said quietly. "We're driven. We're forced to seize responsibility that the average man shirks."

"Then let him stop shirking it. Let him stop tossing his duty and guilt onto the shoulders of the first freak who comes along grabbing at it. Are we to be scapegoats for the world forever?"

"Damn you!" Dagenham raged. "Don't you realize that you can't trust people? They don't know enough for their own good."

"Then let them learn or die. We're all in this together. Let's live together or die together."

"D'you want to die in their ignorance? You've got to figure out how to get those slugs back without blowing everything wide open."

"No. I believe in them. I was one of them before I turned tiger. They can all turn uncommon if they're kicked awake like I was.”
Alfred Bester, The Stars My Destination

“Most white Americans were willing to sacrifice civil liberties in the name of national security as long as they were the civil liberties of someone else.”
Neil Nakadate, Looking After Minidoka: An American Memoir

Christopher Hitchens
“During the Senate debate on the intervention in Iraq, Sen. Clinton made considerable use of her background and 'experience' to argue that, yes, Saddam Hussein was indeed a threat. She did not argue so much from the position adopted by the Bush administration as she emphasized the stand taken, by both her husband and Al Gore, when they were in office, to the effect that another and final confrontation with the Baathist regime was more or less inevitable. Now, it does not especially matter whether you agree or agreed with her about this (as I, for once, do and did). What does matter is that she has since altered her position and attempted, with her husband’s help, to make people forget that she ever held it. And this, on a grave matter of national honor and security, merely to influence her short-term standing in the Iowa caucuses. Surely that on its own should be sufficient to disqualify her from consideration?”
Christopher Hitchens

Hannah Arendt
“That concentration camps were ultimately provided for the same groups in all countries, even though there were considerable difference in the treatment of their inmates, was all the more characteristic as the selection of the groups was left exclusively to the initiative of the totalitarian regimes: if the Nazis put a person in a concentration camp and if he made a successful escape, say, to Holland, the Dutch would put him in an internment camp. Thus, long before the outbreak of the war the police in a number of Western countries, under the pretext of "national security," had on their own initiative established close connections with the Gestapo and the GPU [Russian State security agency], so that one might say there existed an independent foreign policy of the police. This police-directed foreign policy functioned quite independently of the official governments; the relations between the Gestapo and the French police were never more cordial than at the time of Leon Blum's popular-front government, which was guided by a decidedly anti-German policy. Contrary to the governments, the various police organizations were never overburdened with "prejudices" against any totalitarian regime; the information and denunciations received from GPU agents were just as welcome to them as those from Fascist or Gestapo agents. They knew about the eminent role of the police apparatus in all totalitarian regimes, they knew about its elevated social status and political importance, and they never bothered to conceal their sympathies. That the Nazis eventually met with so disgracefully little resistance from the police in the countries they occupied, and that they were able to organize terror as much as they did with the assistance of these local police forces, was due at least in part to the powerful position which the police had achieved over the years in their unrestricted and arbitrary domination of stateless and refugees.”
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Kenneth Eade
“Nobody in the government is talking. They say it’s a case of national security.”
Kenneth Eade, The Spy Files

“We’re talking about the fate of our economy and the questionable resiliency of our Nation’s critical infrastructure. Why are experts so polite, patient, and forgiving when talking about cybersecurity and National Security? The drama of each script kiddie botnet attack and Nation State pilfering of our IP has been turned into a soap opera through press releases, sound bites and enforced absurdity of mainstream media. It’s time for a cybersecurity zeitgeist in the West where cyber hygiene is a meme that is aggressively distributed by those who have mastered it and encouraged to be imitated by those who have experienced it.”
James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology

Garry Wills
“...that the Bomb altered our subsequent history down to its deepest constitutional roots. It redefined the presidency, as in all respects America's "Commander in Chief" (a term that took on a new and unconstitutional meaning in this period). It fostered an anxiety of continuing crisis, so that society was pervasively militarized. It redefined the government as a National Security State, with an apparatus of secrecy and executive control. It redefined Congress, as an executor of the executive. And it redefined the Supreme Court, as a follower of the follower of the executive. Only one part of the government had the supreme power, the Bomb, and all else must defer to it, for the good of the nation, for the good of the world, for the custody of the future, in a world of perpetual emergency superseding ordinary constitutional restrictions.”
Garry Wills

Jim Garrison
“I'm afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security.”
Jim Garrison

“The message from too many Democrats and Republicans alike remains that we should not let facts get in the way of our day-dreams. It's so much easier to fantasize about an alternative and ideal world, rather than making the hard and unpopular decisions that are necessary to deal with the complicated and frustrating one in which we live. It is so much easier to imagine that world as a blank slate on which America can draw as it wishes, rather than to recognize that limits on American power, and recalibrate strategy accordingly. If Americans fail to reexamine their fundamental attitudes toward that world, then the risk for the future is that failure in Iraq will make the United States more cautious, but not wiser.”
John Hulsman, Ethical Realism: A Vision for America's Role in the World

H.W. Brands
“Amid the war the capitalists were asserting national necessity.”
H.W. Brands, American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900

Kenneth Eade
“Nobody in the government is talking. It’s a case of national security.”
“Of course. The national security of spying on U.S. citizens.”
Kenneth Eade, The Spy Files

Will Advise
“The NSA may, or may not have rejected the invisible secret operative application form I never even bothered to have sent over to them. I'll never know...”
Will Advise, Nothing is here...

Kenneth Eade
“It seems whenever the government doesn’t want anyone to know something, it is all of a sudden critical to national security.”
Kenneth Eade, The Spy Files

Widad Akreyi
“It is vital to acknowledge the new reality before taking any steps to change the existing policies. The world is not the same anymore. Tackling religion-based terrorism is perhaps one, if not the most serious threat the world face in the 21st century. Unfortunately, more terror attacks like the ones in San Bernardino, Brussels and Paris are expected to occur. While those attacks were a reminder of the challenges that lay ahead, they exposed the need to have an improved early warning system that may ultimately save civilian lives. Such a system should take into account the shortcomings of the current warning frameworks and evaluate the usefulness of warnings generated by improved models that would cover a broad range of attacks, larger geographic areas within the country in question and a wide range of potential attack scenarios. The system is likely to facilitate well informed decisions on the assessment of information gathered from different sources. In this vein, finding a balance between protecting human rights and ensuring national security is key.”
Widad Akreyi

“Your personal problem will bring national answer!”
Paul Gitwaza

“Recent events in the Middle East and North Africa clearly show just how dangerous the world is, and how great the challenges facing the intelligence community are going to be in the future as threats to U.S. national security continuously evolve. The U.S. intelligence community did not foresee the sudden collapse of the pro-U.S. regimes in Egypt and Tunisia, the eruption of a civil war in Libya, and the escalating wave of street protests across the Middle East. Then again, no one else in the U.S. government or among our allies abroad did either.”
Matthew M. Aid, Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror

“It is of the nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of legislative authority," the Federalist tell us. And modern commanders in chief tend to reflexively invoke the war metaphor when the public demands that they take action to solve the emergency of the month, real or imagined.

"War is the health of the state," Randolph Bourne's famous aphorism has it, but Bourne could just as easily written that "war is the health of the presidency." Throughout American history, virtually every major advance in executive power has come during a war or warlike crisis. Convince the public that we are at war, and constitutional barriers to actions fall, as power flows to the commander in chief.

Little wonder, then, that confronted with impossible expectations, the modern president tends to recast social and economic problems in military terms: war on crime, war on drugs, war on poverty. Martial rhetoric often ushers in domestic militarism, as presidents push to employ standing armies at home, to fight drug trafficking, terrorism, or natural disasters. And when the president raises the battle cry, he can usually count on substantial numbers of American opinion leaders to cheer him on.”
Gene Healy, The Cult of the Presidency: America's Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power

“The requirement for the United States to craft a national security strategy (NSS) document was first codified in the National Security Act of 1947, and amended by the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986. The 1986 amendment requires the President to submit the document on an annual basis to Congress to provide a comprehensive report on U.S. national security strategy. Both pieces of legislation mandate that the strategy include a "comprehensive description and discussion of worldwide interests, goals, and objectives...that are vital to the national security of the United States." It would also address foreign policy, world wide military commitments, U.S. national defense capabilities, short- and long-term uses of the elements of national power, and the requirement to have the strategy transmitted to Congress in both classified and unclassified form. A number of national security strategies were developed over time prior to the Goldwater-Nichols legislation, to include what many believe was the most significant grand strategy of the era, NSC-68, the key containment strategy against Soviet and Chinese communism. All were crafted during the pre-Goldwater-Nichals Act period at the classified level.”
Alan Stolberg

Enock Maregesi
“Matatizo ya kijamii, kimiiko, kimaadili, kisiasa, na kiroho; hayataweza kutatuliwa kwa pesa, vikao vya kifamilia, haki za binadamu, usalama wa taifa, au nguvu za kijeshi. Yataweza kutatuliwa kwa haki na hekima ya Mwenyezi Mungu.”
Enock Maregesi

Michael O'Hanlon
“It is important not to latch onto some strategic fad to justify radical cuts in the U.S. Army or Marine Corps. For two decades, since Operation Desert Storm, some have favored “stand-off” warfare, featuring long-range strike from planes and ships as the American military’s main approach to future combat. But it is not possible to address many of the world’s key security challenges that way including scenarios in places like Korea and South Asia, discussed further below, that could in fact imperil American security. In the 1990s, advocates of military revolution often argued for such an approach to war, but the subsequent decade proved that for all the progress in sensors and munitions and other military capabilities, the United States still needed forces on the ground to deal with complex insurgencies and other threats.

A military emphasis on stand-off warfare is some- times linked with a broader grand strategy of “offshore balancing” by which the distant United States would step in with limited amounts of power to shape overseas events, particularly in Eurasia, rather than getting involved directly with its own soldiers and Marines. But offshore balancing is too clever by half. In fact, overseas developments are not so easily nudged in favorable directions through modest outside interventions. One of the reasons is that off- shore balancing can suggest, in the minds of friends and foes alike, a lack of real American commitment. That can embolden adversaries. It can also worry allies to the point where, among other things, they may feel obliged to build up their own nuclear arsenals as the likes of South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia might well do absent strong security ties with America. Put bluntly, offshore balancing greatly exaggerates American power by assuming that belated and limited uses of U.S. force can swing overseas events in acceptable directions.”
Michael O'Hanlon

“The gaping wound in America’s national security is without a doubt, the unregulated dragnet surveillance capitalists.”
James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology

Kay Boyle
“Writing of a chance early meeting with Dylan Thomas in a London bar, Kay Boyle writes (1955, in the era of McCarthyism, 1947-1956):

Perhaps because he [Dylan Thomas was so often out of place among men, we take him now as symbol. Perhaps because we who write in America are in great difficulties now, we cherish Dylan Thomas as if he were our own ego, our own wild soul freed of the flesh. An American critic, writing of the American literary scene, points out that thinking Americans, in this period of our nation's development, are deeply troubled because "the demands for national security and for individual freedom" are in conflict.”
Kay Boyle, Words That Must Somehow Be Said: Selected Essays, 1927-1984

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