I’ve been involved in international relations and national security longer than I’ve been involved in capital markets. Before attending law school and starting out as a bank lawyer, I got a graduate degree in international affairs in 1974. I’ve closely studied national security threats from the Cold War arms race through Vietnam, the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, multiple Israel-Arab wars, the first Gulf War, the rise of al-Qaida, 9/11, the War in Iraq and the rise of China.

All of these issues posed risks to U.S. national security. I’ve learned to balance these risks and keep them in a longer-term perspective. So when I saw this article claiming that U.S. national security was at greater risk “than at any time in decades” I was a bit skeptical that the situation could be as bad as the headline proclaimed.

However, the author of the article makes a convincing case by reference to a new expert report he describes. The issue is not so much U.S. weakness as it is the rising strength of China and Russia and a host of technological and ideological forces that can be harnessed to that strength.

The list of threats includes cyberattacks, nuclear terrorism (especially from Pakistan), pandemic and water scarcity. One of the greatest threats to the U.S. comes not from abroad but from our internal politics.

Americans are so divided in their politics that it makes it difficult to arrive at solutions to all of the other threats. This article (and links for further reading contained in the article) deserves your close attention.

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