National security

National security refers to the security of a nation state, including its citizens, economy, and institutions, and is regarded as a duty of government.

Originally conceived as protection against military attack, national security is now widely understood to include non-military dimensions, including the security from terrorism, crime, economic security, energy security, environmental security, food security, cyber security etc. Similarly, national security risks include, in addition to the actions of other nation states, action by violent non-state actors, narcotic cartels, and multinational corporations, and also the effects of natural disasters.

Governments rely on a range of measures, including political, economic, and military power, as well as diplomacy to enforce national security. They may also act to build the conditions of security regionally and internationally by reducing transnational causes of insecurity, such as climate change, economic inequality, political exclusion, and nuclear proliferation.

National.security.parliament.arp.750pix.Clean
Security measures taken to protect the Houses of Parliament in London, UK. These heavy blocks of concrete are designed to prevent a car bomb or other device being rammed into the building.
Photograph of President Reagan in a briefing with National Security Council Staff on the Libya Bombing - NARA - 198573
President Reagan in a briefing with National Security Council staff on the Libya Bombing on 15 April 1986

Definitions

The concept of national security remains ambiguous, having evolved from simpler definitions which emphasised freedom from military threat and from political coercion.[1]:1–6[2]:52–54 Among the many definitions proposed to date are the following, which show how the concept has evolved to encompass non-military concerns:

  • "A nation has security when it does not have to sacrifice its legitimate ínterests to avoid war, and is able, if challenged, to maintain them by war." (Walter Lippmann, 1943).[1]:5
  • "The distinctive meaning of national security means freedom from foreign dictation." (Harold Lasswell, 1950)[1]:79
  • "National security objectively means the absence of threats to acquired values and subjectively, the absence of fear that such values will be attacked." (Arnold Wolfers, 1960)[3]
  • "National security then is the ability to preserve the nation's physical integrity and territory; to maintain its economic relations with the rest of the world on reasonable terms; to preserve its nature, institution, and governance from disruption from outside; and to control its borders." (Harold Brown, U.S. Secretary of Defense, 1977-1981)[4]
  • "National security... is best described as a capacity to control those domestic and foreign conditions that the public opinion of a given community believes necessary to enjoy its own self-determination or autonomy, prosperity and wellbeing." (Charles Maier, 1990)[5]
  • "National security is an appropriate and aggressive blend of political resilience and maturity, human resources, economic structure and capacity, technological competence, industrial base and availability of natural resources and finally the military might." (National Defence College of India, 1996)[6]
  • "[National security is the] measurable state of the capability of a nation to overcome the multi-dimensional threats to the apparent well-being of its people and its survival as a nation-state at any given time, by balancing all instruments of state policy through governance... and is extendable to global security by variables external to it." (Prabhakaran Paleri, 2008)[2]:52–54
  • "[National and international security] may be understood as a shared freedom from fear and want, and the freedom to live in dignity. It implies social and ecological health rather than the absence of risk... [and is] a common right." (Ammerdown Group, 2016)[7]:3

Dimensions of national security

Potential causes of national insecurity include actions by other states (e.g. military or cyber attack), violent non-state actors (e.g. terrorist attack), organised criminal groups such as narcotic cartels, and also the effects of natural disasters (e.g. flooding, earthquakes).[1]:v, 1–8[7][8] Systemic drivers of insecurity, which may be transnational, include climate change, economic inequality and marginalisation, political exclusion, and militarisation.[7][8]

In view of the wide range of risks, the security of a nation state has several dimensions, including economic security, energy security, physical security, environmental security, food security, border security, and cyber security. These dimensions correlate closely with elements of national power.

Increasingly, governments organise their security policies into a national security strategy (NSS); as of 2017, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States are among the states to have done so.[9][10][11][12] Some states also appoint a National Security Council to oversee the strategy and/or a National Security Advisor.

Although states differ in their approach, with some beginning to prioritise non-military action to tackle systemic drivers of insecurity, various forms of coercive power predominate, particularly military capabilities.[7] The scope of these capabilities has developed. Traditionally, military capabilities were mainly land- or sea-based, and in smaller countries they still are. Elsewhere, the domains of potential warfare now include the air, space, cyberspace, and psychological operations.[13] Military capabilities designed for these domains may be used for national security, or equally for offensive purposes, for example to conquer and annex territory and resources.

Physical security

In practice, national security is associated primarily with managing physical threats and with the military capabilities used for doing so.[9][11][12] That is, national security is often understood as the capacity of a nation to mobilise military forces to guarantee its borders and to deter or successfully defend against physical threats including military aggression and attacks by non-state actors, such as terrorism. Most states, such as South Africa and Sweden,[14][10] configure their military forces mainly for territorial defence; others, such as France, Russia, the UK and the US,[15][16][11][12] invest in higher-cost expeditionary capabilities, which allow their armed forces to project power and sustain military operations abroad.

Political security

Barry Buzan, Ole Wæver, Jaap de Wilde and others have argued that national security depends on political security: the stability of the social order.[17] Others, such as Paul Rogers, have added that the equitability of the international order is equally vital.[8] Hence, political security depends on the rule of international law (including the laws of war), the effectiveness of international political institutions, as well as diplomacy and negotiation between nations and other security actors.[17] It also depends on, among other factors, effective political inclusion of disaffected groups and the human security of the citizenry.[8][7][18]

Economic security

Economic security, in the context of international relations, is the ability of a nation state to maintain and develop the national economy, without which other dimensions of national security cannot be managed. In larger countries, strategies for economic security expect to access resources and markets in other countries, and to protect their own markets at home. Developing countries may be less secure than economically advanced states due to high rates of unemployment and underpaid work.

Ecological security

Ecological security, also known as environmental security, refers to the integrity of ecosystems and the biosphere, particularly in relation to their capacity to sustain a diversity of life-forms (including human life). The security of ecosystems has attracted greater attention as the impact of ecological damage by humans has grown.[19] The degradation of ecosystems, including topsoil erosion, deforestation, biodiversity loss, and climate change, affect economic security and can precipitate mass migration, leading to increased pressure on resources elsewhere.

The scope and nature of environmental threats to national security and strategies to engage them are a subject of debate.[1]:29–33 Romm (1993) classifies the major impacts of ecological changes on national security as:[1]:15

Climate change is affecting global agriculture and food security
Refugees fleeing war and insecurity in Iraq and Syria arrive at Lesbos Island, supported by Spanish volunteers, 2015

Security of energy and natural resources

Resources include water, sources of energy, land and minerals. Availability of adequate natural resources is important for a nation to develop its industry and economic power. For example, in the Persian Gulf War of 1991, Iraq captured Kuwait partly in order to secure access to its oil wells, and one reason for the US counter-invasion was the value of the same wells to its own economy. Water resources are subject to disputes between many nations, including India and Pakistan, and in the Middle East.

The interrelations between security, energy, natural resources, and their sustainability is increasingly acknowledged in national security strategies and resource security is now included among the UN Sustainable Development Goals.[10][9][23][12][24] In the US, for example, the military has installed solar photovoltaic microgrids on their bases in case of power outage.[25][26]

Computer security

Computer security, also known as cybersecurity or IT security, refers to the security of computing devices such as computers and smartphones, as well as computer networks such as private and public networks, and the Internet. It concerns the protection of hardware, software, data, people, and also the procedures by which systems are accessed, and the field has growing importance due to the increasing reliance on computer systems in most societies.[27] Since unauthorized access to critical civil and military infrastructure is now considered a major threat, cyberspace is now recognised as a domain of warfare.[13]

Infrastructure security

Infrastructure security is the security provided to protect infrastructure, especially critical infrastructure, such as airports, highways [28] rail transport, hospitals, bridges, transport hubs, network communications, media, the electricity grid, dams, power plants, seaports, oil refineries, and water systems. Infrastructure security seeks to limit vulnerability of these structures and systems to sabotage, terrorism, and contamination.[29]

Many countries have established government agencies to directly manage the security of critical infrastructure usually through the Ministry of Interior/Home Affairs, dedicated security agencies to protect facilities such as United States Federal Protective Service, and also dedicated transport police such as the British Transport Police. There are also commercial transportation security units such as the Amtrak Police in the United States. Critical infrastructure is vital for the essential functioning of a country. Incidental or deliberate damage can have a serious impact on the economy and essential services. Some of the threats to infrastructure include:

Issues in national security

Consistency of approach

The dimensions of national security outlined above are frequently in tension with one another. For example:

  • The high cost of maintaining large military forces places a burden on the economic security of a nation. The share of government expenditure on state armed forces varies internationally; for example, in 2015 it was 4% in Germany, 9% in Chile, 14% in the USA, 15% in Israel, and 19% in Pakistan.[30] Conversely, economic constraints can limit the scale of expenditure on military capabilities.
  • Unilateral security action by states can undermine political security at an international level if it erodes the rule of law and undermines the authority of international institutions. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the annexation of Crimea in 2014 have been cited as examples.[31][32]
  • The pursuit of economic security in competition with other nation states can undermine the ecological security of all when the impact includes widespread topsoil erosion, biodiversity loss, and climate change.[33] Conversely, expenditure on mitigating or adapting to ecological change places a burden on the national economy.

If tensions such as these are not managed effectively, national security policies and actions may be ineffective or counterproductive.

National versus transnational security

Increasingly, national security strategies have begun to recognise that nations cannot provide for their own security without also developing the security of their regional and international context.[12][23][9][10] For example, Sweden's national security strategy of 2017 declared:

"Wider security measures must also now encompass protection against epidemics and infectious diseases, combating terrorism and organised crime, ensuring safe transport and reliable food supplies, protecting against energy supply interruptions, countering devastating climate change, initiatives for peace and global development, and much more."[10]

F-14A VF-114 over burning Kuwaiti oil well 1991.JPEG
A US fighter jet over a burning oil well in Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War, 1991

The extent to which this matters, and how it should be done, is the subject of debate. Some argue that the principal beneficiary of national security policy should be the nation state itself, which should centre its strategy on protective and coercive capabilities in order to safeguard itself in a hostile environment (and potentially to project that power into its environment, and dominate it to the point of strategic supremacy).[34][35][36] Others argue that security depends principally on building the conditions in which equitable relationships between nations can develop, partly by reducing antagonism between actors, ensuring that fundamental needs can be met, and also that differences of interest can be negotiated effectively.[37][7][8] In the UK, for example, Malcolm Chalmers argued in 2015 that the heart of the UK's approach should be support for the Western strategic military alliance led through NATO by the United States, as "the key anchor around which international order is maintained".[38] The Ammerdown Group argued in 2016 that the UK should shift its primary focus to building international cooperation to tackle the systemic drivers of insecurity, including climate change, economic inequality, militarisation and the political exclusion of the world's poorest people.[7]

Impact on civil liberties and human rights

Approaches to national security can have a complex impact on human rights and civil liberties. For example, the rights and liberties of citizens are affected by the use of military personnel and militarised police forces to control public behaviour; the use of surveillance including mass surveillance in cyberspace; military recruitment and conscription practices; and the effects of warfare on civilians and civil infrastructure. This has led to a dialectical struggle, particularly in liberal democracies, between government authority and the rights and freedoms of the general public.

National Security Agency, 2013
The National Security Agency harvests personal data across the internet.

Even where the exercise of national security is subject to good governance and the rule of law, a risk remains that the term national security may be become a pretext for suppressing unfavorable political and social views. In the US, for example, the controversial USA Patriot Act of 2001, and the revelation by Edward Snowden in 2013 that the National Security Agency harvests the personal data of the general public, brought these issues to wide public attention. Among the questions raised are whether and how national security considerations at times of war should lead to the suppression of individual rights and freedoms, and whether such restrictions are necessary when a state is not at war.

Country-by-country perspectives

Americas

Brazil

National Security ideology as taught by the US Army School of the Americas to military personnel were vital in causing the military coup of 1964. The military dictatorship was installed on the claim by military that Leftists were an existential threat to the national interests.[39]

United States

The concept of national security became an official guiding principle of foreign policy in the United States when the National Security Act of 1947 was signed on July 26, 1947 by U.S. President Harry S. Truman.[1]:3 As amended in 1949, this Act:

Notably, the Act did not define national security, which was conceivably advantageous, as its ambiguity made it a powerful phrase to invoke whenever issues threatened by other interests of the state, such as domestic concerns, came up for discussion and decision.[1]:3–5

The notion that national security encompasses more than just military security was present, though understated, from the beginning. The Act established the National Security Council so as to "advise the President on the integration of domestic, military and foreign policies relating to national security".[2]:52

While not defining the "interests" of national security, the Act does establish, within the National Security Council, the "Committee on Foreign Intelligence", whose duty is to conduct an annual review "identifying the intelligence required to address the national security interests of the United States as specified by the President" (emphasis added).[41]

In Gen. Maxwell Taylor's 1974 essay "The Legitimate Claims of National Security", Taylor states:[42]

The national valuables in this broad sense include current assets and national interests, as well as the sources of strength upon which our future as a nation depends. Some valuables are tangible and earthy; others are spiritual or intellectual. They range widely from political assets such as the Bill of Rights, our political institutions and international friendships, to many economic assets which radiate worldwide from a highly productive domestic economy supported by rich natural resources. It is the urgent need to protect valuables such as these which legitimizes and makes essential the role of national security.

The U.S. Armed Forces defines national security of the United States in the following manner :[43]

A collective term encompassing both national defense and foreign relations of the United States. Specifically, the condition provided by: a. a military or defense advantage over any foreign nation or group of nations; b. a favorable foreign relations position; or c. a defense posture capable of successfully resisting hostile or destructive action from within or without, overt or covert.

In 2010, the White House included an all-encompassing world-view in a national security strategy which identified "security" as one of the country's "four enduring national interests" that were "inexorably intertwined":[44]

"To achieve the world we seek, the United States must apply our strategic approach in pursuit of four enduring national interests:

  • Security:  The security of the United States, its citizens, and U.S. allies and partners.
  • Prosperity:  A strong, innovative, and growing U.S. economy in an open international economic system that promotes opportunity and prosperity.
  • Values: Respect for universal values at home and around the world.
  • International Order:  An international order advanced by U.S. leadership that promotes peace, security, and opportunity through stronger cooperation to meet global challenges.

Each of these interests is inextricably linked to the others: no single interest can be pursued in isolation, but at the same time, positive action in one area will help advance all four."

— National Security Strategy, Executive Office of the President of the United States (May 2010)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that, "The countries that threaten regional and global peace are the very places where women and girls are deprived of dignity and opportunity".[45] She has noted that countries where women are oppressed are places where the "rule of law and democracy are struggling to take root",[45] and that, when women's rights as equals in society are upheld, the society as a whole changes and improves, which in turn enhances stability in that society, which in turn contributes to global society.[45]

In the United States, the Bush Administration in January 2008, initiated the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI). It introduced a differentiated approach, such as: identifying existing and emerging cybersecurity threats, finding and plugging existing cyber vulnerabilities, and apprehending actors that trying to gain access to secure federal information systems.[46] President Obama issued a declaration that the "cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation" and that "America's economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cybersecurity."[47]

To reflect on institutionalization of new bureaucratic infrastructures and governmental practices in the post-World War II period in the U.S., when a culture of semi-permanent military mobilization brought around the National Security Council, the CIA, the Department of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, national-security researchers apply a notion of a national security state:[48][49][50]

During and after World War II, US leaders expanded the concept of national security and used its terminology for the first time to explain America’s relationship to the world. For most of US history, the physical security of the continental United States had not been in jeopardy. But by 1945, this invulnerability was rapidly diminishing with the advent of long-range bombers, atom bombs, and ballistic missiles. A general perception grew that the future would not allow time to mobilize, that preparation would have to become constant. For the first time, American leaders would have to deal with the essential paradox of national security faced by the Roman Empire and subsequent great powers: Si vis pacem, para bellum — If you want peace, prepare for war.[51]

— David Jablonsky

Asia

China

China's Armed Forces are known as the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The military is largest in the world with 2.3 million active troops in 2005.

The Ministry of State Security was established in 1983 to ensure “the security of the state through effective measures against enemy agents, spies, and counterrevolutionary activities designed to sabotage or overthrow China’s socialist system.”[52]

Muslim separatists in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region are China's most significant domestic threat.

India

State of the national security of Republic of India is determined by its internal stability and geopolitical interests. India maintains its position as one of major economic and military powers and continues to emerge to strengthen its stature and diplomatic clout. While Islamic upsurge in Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir demanding secession and far left wing terrorism in India's red corridor remain some key issues in India's internal security, terrorism from Pakistan based militant groups has been emerging as a major concern for New Delhi.

National Security Advisor of India heads National Security Council of India, receives all kinds of intelligence reports and is chief advisor to the Prime Minister of India over national and international security policy. National Security Council has India's defence, foreign, home, finance ministers and deputy chairman of NITI Aayog as its members and is responsible for shaping strategies for India's security in all aspects.

Europe

Russia

In the years 1997 and 2000, Russia adopted documents titled "National Security Concept" that described Russia's global position, the country's interests, listed threats to national security and described the means to counter those threats. In 2009, these documents were superseded by the "National Security Strategy to 2020". The key body responsible for coordination of policies related to Russia's national security is the Security Council of Russia.

According to provision 6 of the National Security Strategy to 2020, national security is "the situation in which the individual, the society and the state enjoy protection from foreign and domestic threats to the degree that ensures constitutional rights and freedoms, decent quality of life for citizens, as well as sovereignty, territorial integrity and stable development of the Russian Federation, the defense and security of the state."

United Kingdom

The primary body responsible for coordinating national security policy in the UK is the National Security Council (United Kingdom) which helps produce and enact the UK's National Security Strategy. It was created in May 2010 by the new coalition government of the Conservative Party (UK) and Liberal Democrats. The National Security Council is a committee of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom and was created as part of a wider reform of the national security apparatus. This reform also included the creation of a National Security Adviser and a National Security Secretariat to support the National Security Council.[53]

Africa

Conceptualizing and understanding the National Security choices and challenges of African States is a difficult task. This is due to the fact that it is often not rooted in the understanding of their (mostly disrupted) state formation and their often imported process of state building.

Although Post-Cold War conceptualizations of Security have broadened, the policies and practices of many African states still privilege national security as being synonymous with state security and even more narrowly- regime security.

The problem with the above is that a number of African states (be specific) have been unable to govern their security in meaningful ways. Often failing to be able to claim the monopoly of force in their territories. The hybridity of security ‘governance’ or ‘providers’ thus exists.[54] States that have not been able to capture this reality in official National Security strategies and policies often find their claim over having the monopoly of force and thus being the Sovereign challenged.[54] This often leads to the weakening of the state. Examples of such states are South Sudan and Somalia.

See also

References

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Further reading

  • Bhadauria, Sanjeev. National Security. Allahabad: Dept. of Defence and Strategic Studies, University of Allahabad, 2002.
  • Brzezinski, Zbigniew. Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser, 1977–1981. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1983.
  • Chen, Hsinchun. National Security. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2007.
  • Cordesman, Anthony H. Saudi Arabia National Security in a Troubled Region. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger Security International, 2009.
  • Devanny, Joe, and Josh Harris, The National Security Council: national security at the centre of government. London: Institute for Government/King's College London, 2014.
  • Farah, Paolo Davide; Rossi, Piercarlo (2015). "Energy: Policy, Legal and Social-Economic Issues Under the Dimensions of Sustainability and Security". World Scientific Reference on Globalisation in Eurasia and the Pacific Rim. SSRN 2695701.
  • Jordan, Amos A., William J. Taylor, Michael J. Mazarr, and Suzanne C. Nielsen. American National Security. Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.
  • MccGwire, Michael. Perestroika and Soviet National Security. Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0815755531
  • Mueller, Karl P. Striking First: Preemptive and Preventive Attack in U.S. National Security Policy. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Project Air Force, 2006.
  • National Research Council (U.S.). Beyond "Fortress America": National Security Controls on Science and Technology in a Globalized World. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2009.
  • Neal, Andrew. Security in a Small Nation: Scotland, Democracy, Politics. Open Book Publishers, 2017. ISBN 9781783742707
  • Rothkopf, David J. Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power. New York: PublicAffairs, 2005.
  • Ripsman, Norrin M., and T. V. Paul. Globalization and the National Security State. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • Tal, Israel. National Security: The Israeli Experience. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2000.
  • Tan, Andrew. Malaysia's security perspectives. Canberra : Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University, 2002
  • Scherer, Lauri S. National Security. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010.

External links

Media related to National security at Wikimedia Commons

Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting and professional services firm that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services. A Fortune Global 500 company, it has been incorporated in Dublin, Ireland, since 1 September 2009. In 2018, the company reported net revenues of $39.6 billion, with more than 459,000 employees serving clients in more than 200 cities in 120 countries. In 2015, the company had about 150,000 employees in India, about 48,000 in the US, and about 50,000 in the Philippines. Accenture's current clients include 95 of the Fortune Global 100 and more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500.

Classified information

Classified information is material that a government body deems to be sensitive information that must be protected. Access is restricted by law or regulation to particular groups of people with the necessary security clearance and need to know, and intentional mishandling of the material can incur criminal penalties. A formal security clearance is required to view or handle classified documents or to access classified data. The clearance process requires a satisfactory background investigation. Documents and other information must be properly marked "by the author" with one of several (hierarchical) levels of sensitivity—e.g. restricted, confidential, secret and top secret. The choice of level is based on an impact assessment; governments have their own criteria, which include how to determine the classification of an information asset, and rules on how to protect information classified at each level. This often includes security clearances for personnel handling the information. Although "classified information" refers to the formal categorization and marking of material by level of sensitivity, it has also developed a sense synonymous with "censored" in US English. A distinction is often made between formal security classification and privacy markings such as "commercial in confidence". Classifications can be used with additional keywords that give more detailed instructions on how data should be used or protected.

Some corporations and non-government organizations also assign levels of protection to their private information, either from a desire to protect trade secrets, or because of laws and regulations governing various matters such as personal privacy, sealed legal proceedings and the timing of financial information releases.

With the passage of time much classified information can become a bit less sensitive, or becomes much less sensitive, and may be declassified and made public. Since the late twentieth century there has been freedom of information legislation in some countries, whereby the public is deemed to have the right to all information that is not considered to be damaging if released. Sometimes documents are released with information still considered confidential obscured (redacted), as in the example at right.

Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice (; born November 14, 1954) is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush. Rice was the first female African-American Secretary of State, as well as the second African-American Secretary of State (after Colin Powell), and the second female Secretary of State (after Madeleine Albright). Rice was President Bush's National Security Advisor during his first term, making her the first woman to serve in that position.

Rice was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and grew up while the South was racially segregated. She obtained her bachelor's degree from the University of Denver and her master's degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame. In 1981 she received a PhD from the School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She worked at the State Department under the Carter administration and pursued an academic fellowship at Stanford University, where she later served as provost from 1993 to 1999. Rice served on the National Security Council as the Soviet and Eastern Europe Affairs Advisor to President George H. W. Bush during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and German reunification from 1989 to 1991. On December 17, 2000, she left her position and joined the Bush administration as National Security Advisor. In Bush's second term, she became Secretary of State.

Following her confirmation as Secretary of State, Rice pioneered the policy of Transformational Diplomacy directed toward expanding the number of responsible democratic governments in the world and especially in the Greater Middle East. That policy faced challenges as Hamas captured a popular majority in Palestinian elections, and influential countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt maintained authoritarian systems with U.S. support. She has logged more miles traveling than any other Secretary of State. While in the position, she chaired the Millennium Challenge Corporation's board of directors.In March 2009, Rice returned to Stanford University as a political science professor and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution. In September 2010, she became a faculty member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a director of its Global Center for Business and the Economy.She is on the Board of Directors of Dropbox and Makena Capital Management, LLC.

Henry Kissinger

Henry Alfred Kissinger (; German: [ˈkɪsɪŋɐ]; born Heinz Alfred Kissinger; May 27, 1923) is an American elder statesman, political scientist, diplomat, and geopolitical consultant who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. A Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1938, he became National Security Advisor in 1969 and U.S. Secretary of State in 1973. For his actions negotiating a ceasefire in Vietnam, Kissinger received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances, with two members of the committee resigning in protest. Kissinger later sought, unsuccessfully, to return the prize after the ceasefire failed.A practitioner of Realpolitik, Kissinger played a prominent role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977. During this period, he pioneered the policy of détente with the Soviet Union, orchestrated the opening of relations with the People's Republic of China, engaged in what became known as shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East to end the Yom Kippur War, and negotiated the Paris Peace Accords, ending American involvement in the Vietnam War. Kissinger has also been associated with such controversial policies as U.S. involvement in the 1973 Chilean military coup, a "green light" to Argentina's military junta for their Dirty War, and U.S. support for Pakistan during the Bangladesh War despite the genocide being perpetrated by his allies. After leaving government, he formed Kissinger Associates, an international geopolitical consulting firm. Kissinger has written over one dozen books on diplomatic history and international relations.

Kissinger remains widely regarded as a controversial figure in American politics, and has been condemned as a war criminal by journalists, political activists, and human rights lawyers. According to a 2014 survey by Foreign Policy magazine 32.21% of "America's top International Relations scholars" considered Henry Kissinger the most effective U.S. Secretary of State since 1965.

Iran–Contra affair

The Iran–Contra affair (Persian: ماجرای ایران-کنترا‎, Spanish: Caso Irán-Contra), also referred to as Irangate, Contragate, the Iran–Contra scandal, or simply Iran-Contra, was a political scandal in the United States that occurred during the second term of the Reagan Administration. Senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, which was the subject of an arms embargo. The administration hoped to use the proceeds of the arms sale to fund the Contras in Nicaragua. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress.

The official justification for the arms shipments was that they were part of an operation to free seven American hostages being held in Lebanon by Hezbollah, a paramilitary group with Iranian ties connected to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The plan was for Israel to ship weapons to Iran, for the United States to resupply Israel, and for Israel to pay the United States. The Iranian recipients promised to do everything in their power to achieve the release of the hostages. However, as documented by a congressional investigation, the first Reagan-sponsored secret arms sales to Iran began in 1981 before any of the American hostages had been taken in Lebanon. This fact ruled out the "arms for hostages" explanation by which the Reagan administration sought to excuse its behavior.The plan was later complicated in late 1985, when Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North of the National Security Council diverted a portion of the proceeds from the Iranian weapon sales to fund the Contras, a group of anti-Sandinista rebel fighters, in their struggle against the socialist government of Nicaragua. While President Ronald Reagan was a vocal supporter of the Contra cause, the evidence is disputed as to whether he personally authorized the diversion of funds to the Contras. Handwritten notes taken by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger on 7 December 1985 indicate that Reagan was aware of potential hostage transfers with Iran, as well as the sale of Hawk and TOW missiles to "moderate elements" within that country. Weinberger wrote that Reagan said "he could answer to charges of illegality but couldn't answer to the charge that 'big strong President Reagan passed up a chance to free the hostages.'" After the weapon sales were revealed in November 1986, Reagan appeared on national television and stated that the weapons transfers had indeed occurred, but that the United States did not trade arms for hostages. The investigation was impeded when large volumes of documents relating to the affair were destroyed or withheld from investigators by Reagan administration officials. On 4 March 1987, Reagan made a further nationally televised address, taking full responsibility for the affair and stating that "what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages".The affair was investigated by the U.S. Congress and by the three-person, Reagan-appointed Tower Commission. Neither investigation found evidence that President Reagan himself knew of the extent of the multiple programs. In the end, fourteen administration officials were indicted, including then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Eleven convictions resulted, some of which were vacated on appeal. The rest of those indicted or convicted were all pardoned in the final days of the presidency of George H. W. Bush, who had been Vice President at the time of the affair.

John R. Bolton

John Robert Bolton (born November 20, 1948) is an American attorney, political commentator, Republican consultant, government official and former diplomat who serves as the 27th National Security Advisor of the United States. He began his tenure as National Security Advisor on April 9, 2018. Bolton served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from August 2005 to December 2006 as a recess appointee by President George W. Bush. He resigned at the end of his recess appointment in December 2006 because he was unlikely to win confirmation from the Senate, which the Democratic Party had gained control of at the time.Bolton is a former senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), senior advisor for Freedom Capital Investment Management, a Fox News Channel commentator, and of counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis. He was a foreign policy adviser to 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Bolton is also involved with a number of politically conservative think tanks, policy institutes and special interest groups, including the Institute of East-West Dynamics, the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Project for the New American Century, Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA), Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf, the Council for National Policy, and the Gatestone Institute,where he served as the organization Chairman until March 2018.Bolton has been called a "war hawk" and is an advocate for regime change in Iran and North Korea and repeatedly called for the termination of the Iran deal. He was an early supporter of the Iraq War and continues to back this position. He has continuously supported military action and regime change in Syria, Libya, and Iran. A Republican, his political views have been described as American nationalist, conservative, and "neoconservative". Bolton rejects the last term and uses the term "pro-American" instead.

National Security Act of 1947

The National Security Act of 1947 was a major restructuring of the United States government's military and intelligence agencies following World War II. The majority of the provisions of the Act took effect on September 18, 1947, the day after the Senate confirmed James Forrestal as the first Secretary of Defense.The Act merged the Department of War (renamed as the Department of the Army) and the Department of the Navy into the National Military Establishment (NME), headed by the Secretary of Defense. It also created the Department of the Air Force and the United States Air Force, which separated the Army Air Forces into its own service. It also protected the Marine Corps as an independent service, under the Department of the Navy.

Aside from the military reorganization, the act established the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S.'s first peacetime non-military intelligence agency.

National Security Advisor (United States)

The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA), commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor (NSA) or at times informally termed the NSC Advisor, is a senior aide in the Executive Office of the President, based at the West Wing of the White House, who serves as the chief in-house advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues. The National Security Advisor is appointed by the President and does not require confirmation by the Senate, but an appointment of a three or four-star general to the role requires Senate reconfirmation of military rank.The National Security Advisor participates in meetings of the National Security Council (NSC) and usually chairs meetings of the Principals Committee of the NSC with the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense (the meetings not attended by the President). The National Security Advisor is supported by NSC staff who produce research and briefings for the National Security Advisor to review and present, either to the National Security Council or directly to the President.

National Security Agency

The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence. The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign and domestic intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, specializing in a discipline known as signals intelligence (SIGINT). The NSA is also tasked with the protection of U.S. communications networks and information systems. The NSA relies on a variety of measures to accomplish its mission, the majority of which are clandestine.Originating as a unit to decipher coded communications in World War II, it was officially formed as the NSA by President Harry S. Truman in 1952. Since then, it has become the largest of the U.S. intelligence organizations in terms of personnel and budget. The NSA currently conducts worldwide mass data collection and has been known to physically bug electronic systems as one method to this end. The NSA has also been alleged to have been behind such attack software as Stuxnet, which severely damaged Iran's nuclear program. The NSA, alongside the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), maintains a physical presence in many countries across the globe; the CIA/NSA joint Special Collection Service (a highly classified intelligence team) inserts eavesdropping devices in high value targets (such as Presidential palaces or embassies). SCS collection tactics allegedly encompass "close surveillance, burglary, wiretapping, [and] breaking and entering".Unlike the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), both of which specialize primarily in foreign human espionage, the NSA does not publicly conduct human-source intelligence gathering. The NSA is entrusted with providing assistance to, and the coordination of, SIGINT elements for other government organizations – which are prevented by law from engaging in such activities on their own. As part of these responsibilities, the agency has a co-located organization called the Central Security Service (CSS), which facilitates cooperation between the NSA and other U.S. defense cryptanalysis components. To further ensure streamlined communication between the signals intelligence community divisions, the NSA Director simultaneously serves as the Commander of the United States Cyber Command and as Chief of the Central Security Service.

The NSA's actions have been a matter of political controversy on several occasions, including its spying on anti-Vietnam-war leaders and the agency's participation in economic espionage. In 2013, the NSA had many of its secret surveillance programs revealed to the public by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor. According to the leaked documents, the NSA intercepts and stores the communications of over a billion people worldwide, including United States citizens. The documents also revealed the NSA tracks hundreds of millions of people's movements using cellphones metadata. Internationally, research has pointed to the NSA's ability to surveil the domestic Internet traffic of foreign countries through "boomerang routing".

National Security Council (India)

The National Security Council (NSC) (IAST: Rāṣṭrīya Surakṣā Pariṣada) of India is an executive government agency tasked with advising the Prime Minister's Office on matters of national security and strategic interest. It was established by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government on 19 November 1998, with Brajesh Mishra as the first National Security Advisor. Prior to the formation of the NSC, these activities were overseen by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.

National Security Council (Saudi Arabia)

The Saudi National Security Council (SNSC) (Arabic: مجلس الأمن الوطني‎) was the body in charge of coordinating Saudi Arabia's national security, intelligence and foreign policy strategy. It was established in 2005 by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The first secretary general of the SNSC was Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi Ambassador to the United States. The assistant secretary general of the SNSC was Prince Salman bin Sultan until 6 August 2013. The council was abolished by King Salman on 29 January 2015.

National Security Guard

The National Security Guard (NSG) is an Indian special forces unit under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It was raised in 1984, following Operation Blue Star and the assassination of Indira Gandhi, "for combating terrorist activities with a view to protect states against internal disturbances".NSG is under the authority of Ministry of Home Affairs. However it is not categorised under the uniform nomenclature of Central Armed Police Forces. It has a special forces mandate, and its core operational capability is provided by the Special Action Group (SAG) which is drawn from the Indian Army. The Special Rangers Group (SRG), the police component of NSG, which also handles VIP security, is composed of personnel on deputation from other Central Armed Police Forces and State Police Forces.The NSG personnel are often referred to in the media as Black Cats because of the black outfit and black cat insignia worn on their uniform.

National Security Service (Armenia)

National Security Service of Armenia (Armenian: Հայաստանի Հանրապետության Ազգային Անվտանգության Ծառայություն) is a state agency of Armenia, responsible for national security and intelligence.

National security of the United States

National security of the United States is a collective term encompassing the policies of both U.S. national defense and foreign relations.

Nevada Test Site

The Nevada National Security Site (N2S2 or NNSS), previously the Nevada Test Site (NTS), is a United States Department of Energy reservation located in southeastern Nye County, Nevada, about 65 miles (105 km) northwest of the city of Las Vegas. Formerly known as the Nevada Proving Grounds, the site was established on January 11, 1951 for the testing of nuclear devices, covering approximately 1,360 square miles (3,500 km2) of desert and mountainous terrain. Nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site began with a 1-kiloton-of-TNT (4.2 TJ) bomb dropped on Frenchman Flat on January 27, 1951. Many of the iconic images of the nuclear era come from the NTS. NNSS is operated by Mission Support and Test Services, LLC.

During the 1950s, the mushroom clouds from the 100 atmospheric tests could be seen for almost 100 mi (160 km). The city of Las Vegas experienced noticeable seismic effects, and the distant mushroom clouds, which could be seen from the downtown hotels, became tourist attractions. St. George, Utah, received the brunt of the fallout of above-ground nuclear testing in the Yucca Flats/Nevada Test Site. Winds routinely carried the fallout of these tests directly through St. George and southern Utah. Marked increases in cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma, thyroid cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, bone cancer, brain tumors, and gastrointestinal tract cancers, were reported from the mid-1950s through 1980. A further 921 nuclear tests were carried out underground.

From 1986 through 1994, two years after the United States put a hold on full-scale nuclear weapons testing, 536 anti-nuclear protests were held at the Nevada Test Site involving 37,488 participants and 15,740 arrests, according to government records. Those arrested included the astronomer Carl Sagan, musician Kris Kristofferson, and the actors Martin Sheen and Robert Blake.

The Nevada Test Site contains 28 areas, 1,100 buildings, 400 miles (640 km) of paved roads, 300 miles of unpaved roads, 10 heliports, and two airstrips.

Currently, the Management & Operating (M&O) Contractor is Mission Support and Test Services (MSTS). They manage and operate the NNSS for the NNSA. The Security Protective Force Contractor is SOC LLC as they provide the safeguards and security to the NNSS.

PRISM (surveillance program)

PRISM is a code name for a program under which the United States National Security Agency (NSA) collects internet communications from various U.S. internet companies. The program is also known by the SIGAD US-984XN. PRISM collects stored internet communications based on demands made to internet companies such as Google LLC under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 to turn over any data that match court-approved search terms. The NSA can use these PRISM requests to target communications that were encrypted when they traveled across the internet backbone, to focus on stored data that telecommunication filtering systems discarded earlier, and to get data that is easier to handle, among other things.PRISM began in 2007 in the wake of the passage of the Protect America Act under the Bush Administration. The program is operated under the supervision of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court, or FISC) pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Its existence was leaked six years later by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who warned that the extent of mass data collection was far greater than the public knew and included what he characterized as "dangerous" and "criminal" activities. The disclosures were published by The Guardian and The Washington Post on June 6, 2013. Subsequent documents have demonstrated a financial arrangement between the NSA's Special Source Operations division (SSO) and PRISM partners in the millions of dollars.Documents indicate that PRISM is "the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports", and it accounts for 91% of the NSA's internet traffic acquired under FISA section 702 authority." The leaked information came to light one day after the revelation that the FISA Court had been ordering a subsidiary of telecommunications company Verizon Communications to turn over to the NSA logs tracking all of its customers' telephone calls.U.S. government officials have disputed some aspects of the Guardian and Washington Post stories and have defended the program by asserting it cannot be used on domestic targets without a warrant, that it has helped to prevent acts of terrorism, and that it receives independent oversight from the federal government's executive, judicial and legislative branches. On June 19, 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama, during a visit to Germany, stated that the NSA's data gathering practices constitute "a circumscribed, narrow system directed at us being able to protect our people."

Susan Rice

Susan Elizabeth Rice (born November 17, 1964) is an American public official who was the 24th United States National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2017. She was a Brookings Institution fellow and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She served on the staff of the National Security Council and as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during President Bill Clinton's second term. She was confirmed as UN ambassador by the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent on January 22, 2009.

Mentioned as a possible replacement for retiring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012, Rice withdrew from consideration following controversy related to the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, saying that if she were nominated, "the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive, and costly." She succeeded Tom Donilon as National Security Advisor on July 1, 2013.

United States National Security Council

The White House National Security Council (NSC) is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for consideration of national security, military matters, and foreign policy matters with senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Since its inception under Harry S. Truman, the function of the Council has been to advise and assist the President on national security and foreign policies. The Council also serves as the President's principal arm for coordinating these policies among various government agencies. The Council has counterparts in the national security councils of many other nations.

United States Secretary of the Air Force

The Secretary of the Air Force (SecAF, or SAF/OS) is the head of the Department of the Air Force, a component organization within the United States Department of Defense. The Secretary of the Air Force is appointed from civilian life by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Secretary reports to the Secretary of Defense and/or the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and is by statute responsible for and has the authority to conduct all the affairs of the Department of the Air Force.The Secretary works closely with his or her civilian deputy, the Under Secretary of the Air Force; and his or her military deputy, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, who is the senior-most uniformed officer in the United States Air Force.

The first Secretary of the Air Force, Stuart Symington, was sworn in on 18 September 1947 upon the re-organization of the Army Air Forces into a military department and a military service of its own, independent of the War Department/Army, with the enactment of the National Security Act.

On 16 May 2017, Heather Wilson was sworn in as the next Secretary of the Air Force. Wilson was nominated by President Donald Trump on 23 January 2017, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on 8 May 2017. On 9 March 2019, Secretary Wilson announced her resignation which will take effect on 31 May 2019.

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