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Homeland (in)Security

February 1, 2008

Has anyone else wondered why we have a Department of Homeland Security? I always thought the Department of Defense was responsible for defending the country and keeping our Republic (note, I did NOT say Democracy!) safe. So why then do we have a Department of Homeland Security?

I read a piece on the MSNBC web site this morning that just rekindled that Homeland Security vs. DoD debate within me. The article, titled “Report: Military not ready for WMD strike.” Now, I’m not a professional analyst of all things defense related, but I have some questions regarding the premise that the military isn’t ready to defend the country.

The U.S. military is made up of almost all elements of our society. (Yes, I said almost. You figure it out.) They swear an oath (shorthand version here) to defend the Constitution and the country, against all enemies – foreign and domestic. They fulfill that oath on a daily basis, much to the chagrin of those who malign and mistreat them. Our men and women in uniform are among the very best of us.

But my question is this: if we have a Department of Homeland Security that makes us safe at home, why do people print stories detailing the ways our military is not ready to defend against WMD attacks on American soil? I have an answer to my own question, but it’s not politically correct.

Maybe if we didn’t have troops stationed in 130 countries around the world – the vast majority of whom are not engaged in any combat operations – we wouldn’t need a Department of Homeland Security. Maybe then, the Department of Defense could get back in the business of defending our Republic.

Just a thought…


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