The Wichitan

Students don’t think national security is an important issue

Rodrigo Mireles

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911 memorial. Photo credit: Paco Cabeza-Lopez

911 memorial. Photo credit: Paco Cabeza-Lopez

election-2016Russian spies, Mexican drug smugglers, and domestic criminals are national security issues America faces today. However, students believe that national security is one of the least important issues facing America today. 

Survey results indicate that for students, the important issues included: race relations, morals/ethics, other, economy, terrorism, dissatisfaction with government, unemployment, elections/election reform, immigration, and national security with the fewest responses.

Kevin Paniagua, exercise physiology senior, said, “There are more important things to worry about in the country. We don’t really feel that threatened by anybody right now except for current domestic issues”

According to Hillary Clinton, 17 American intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russians are spying on Americans and the Russian government is encouraging Russians to continue the espionage. The average American does not think that this is an urgent issue.

Paniagua said, “The average American knows that we spend a lot of money on the military so we trust that they’ll keep us safe thus diminishing any doubt of safety.”

Issues like domestic racism are problems that students think are more urgent than national security.

Francisco Martinez, criminal justice senior, said, “The major issues stem from modern day racism. The criminal justice system treats people differently depending on their race. This all started in the past and now its coming back as it being acceptable. There’s an opposing view saying its not okay.”

Manuel Soto-Garcia, exercise physiology senior, said, “National security is not that big of an issue because we already have the strongest army, strongest military, and strongest intelligence agencies so when it comes down to the importance of national security, it isn’t that important. We have all the things we need to keep us secure. What’s more important is all the progressive issues happening in the United States right now.”

The fact is, there has been no major terror incident in the United States since 9/11. There were many preventative measures that were set up to prevent another terror attack like this from happening again.

Caleb Hanon, assistant director of student wellness said, “A lot of it has to do with the delay in a terrorist attack on America since 9/11. Once 9/11 happened, it seemed we were all up in arms. We decided to protect our borders a lot more securely and since then, what we’ve been doing is just status quo so the average American doesn’t get the chance to see the progression that our security has as well as the flaws that our security has. It seems as though in other countries bad things are happening and bigger terrorist attacks are happening and yet everybody seems to feel like that won’t happen here. Once again, we’re in a status quo of being acceptable on where we are at with national security without realizing how much of a threat there is out there for us.”

Since national security is not something that directly affects the American household, they can focus on personal issues. This makes people take national security for granted and not care about it since there is no direct threat.

Nathan Jun, associate professor of philosophy, said, “One reason is because national security is not something we have to deal with directly on a daily basis. To the extent that it is a problem or a concern might strike students as almost abstract or distant.”

One thing that isn’t abstract or distant is racial injustice and racial tensions.

Jun said, “That’s something that we encounter presently in our everyday lives. No one will deny that national security is an important issue but it does have less relevance to our deed of the day experience. Students do not underestimate the importance of national security. At times the national security apparatus has exaggerated the extent to which this country is in danger from a terrorist attack. In terms of how we rank our national political priorities, the facts would suggest that we are safe.”

Almost no students surveyed believed that national security is an important issue. On the other hand, a small percentage of students believe that we are not safe.

Randal Hermes, biology freshman, said, “National security is an important issue in America. The problem we have concerning Russia with Obama backing out of the peace treaty we had with them. We neared a nuclear war with Russia and I think that’s a bigger issue than the election. I don’t think they’ve caught on to what is going on. Things like the clown sightings and Trump’s antics are masking what is going on in Syria and Russia.”

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Students don’t think national security is an important issue