National security

National Security and Energy

One of the greatest threats to America’s national security is her increasing dependency on foreign sources of oil. This serious national security threat, however, receives little attention in the national discourse. It’s simply not one of those sexy topics people want to discuss. The failure of politicians in Washington, D.C. to construct and enact a national comprehensive energy policy that features significant investments in production of more of our own oil, alternative energy sources, and more conservation is dangerous. The dearth of a national comprehensive energy policy places us at the mercy of many foreign nations that don’t like us very much. Yet, many of our elected leaders in Washington, D.C. are placing their personal agendas and the will of special interests above the nation’s security.

We must acknowledge that we cannot conserve our way to energy independence. We cannot create enough alternative energy sources to lead us away from our dependency on foreign sources of oil. Conservation and alternative energy sources are highly vital to our comprehensive effort to dramatically reduce our dependency on foreign sources of oil—don’t get wrong. The reality is we’re going to have to become more aggressive in this country with more of our own oil production. This means we’re going to have to muster the courage to increase oil drilling and exploration within our country. Oil exploration and drilling can be done in an environmentally friendly way. Our nation has had the benefit of learning from the mistakes we have had in the past with oil spill disasters that we now have the technology and knowledge to prevent those disasters from happening again.

Researchers have found that we can greatly diminish our dependency on foreign sources of oil by 20% – 40% by drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. The majority of the people in Alaska support oil drilling and exploration in ANWR, but primarily Democrats in Congress are blocking us from getting the oil from this area. One of the great concerns is we could potentially do some harm to this pristine area of Alaska if we experience an oil spill. Additionally, most Democrats are worried about us disturbing the habitat of the wildlife that surround ANWR. We have the knowledge and technology to drill in this area in an environmentally friendly and sensitive way.

Our national security cannot be placed on the line because we are timid about an oil spill and what we might do to the habitat of surrounding wildlife in the ANWR area. When Americans are increasingly paying higher prices at the gas pump, you can thank most Democrats in Congress for these high prices because we could drill for oil in ANWR and dramatically bring down gas prices. More importantly, we could end the potential of having to surrender to the will of foreign nations just to keep getting their oil.

I encourage you to write to your Congressman and tell him or her to support oil drilling and exploration in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Tell your Congressman to create and enact a national comprehensive energy policy. Let your Congressman know that you’re concerned that the nation’s safety is compromised when we exponentially become more dependent on foreign sources of oil. Whether or not you agree with drilling for oil in ANWR, you cannot deny that we need a national comprehensive energy policy. Please begin to engage in more discourse about energy in America—beyond just gas prices and oil.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

President Obama Did Not Give President George W. Bush Enough Credit for Success in Iraq

On yesterday, President Obama simply did not give President George W. Bush, who against great unpopularity, maintained a commitment to staying the course in Iraq. He also championed the surge strategy that ultimately led to significant success in Iraq. Now, whether you like President Bush or not, you have to admit that he did start the Iraq War; therefore, he should have been given more credit by President Obama for the success in Iraq and for helping to provide the troops with the support they needed to come home with the honor that they have earned.

Instead of giving President Bush a truly appreciative tribute, President Obama elected to simply tell him thank you for his “love of country” and his support of the troops. Wow! Really? That was such a general acknowledgement of President Bush that it could have been for anyone who supported the troops and who love America. I was deeply disappointed by President Obama’s failure to do the right thing and give President Bush the proper credit he deserves.

In general, I thought President Obama’s primetime address to the nation was quite weak. He lacked focus. He went from one thing to the next without giving any substance on any issue. I think that President Obama is a really nice guy, but his performance in office thus far has not been satisfying at all. I was really hoping to hear him give the American people a serious national security and foreign policy address, but he gave us a bunch of random statements instead.

In short, President Obama totally disrespected President Bush by not giving him the true praise he deserves for helping to bring the troops home with the honor they have earned. I will continue to look for President Obama to ameliorate his performance in office.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison