The first sovereign duty of any government is to protect the nation from threats both domestic and foreign. We have seen over the last few months that this mantra has come into sharp focus, especially when we have seen a chemical attack take place in Salisbury. More recently when the government took part in airstrikes on the Assad regime, due to the attack he carried out on his own people using chemical weapons. Whilst the main reason for us to launch airstrikes was to protect innocent civilians from further attacks, but to make sure a clear message was sent to make sure that chemical weapons use does not become the norm thus endangering national security
The fact that chemical weapons were used, does not alter the fact that the government must always have at the front of its mind the protection of her citizens, regardless of the type of threat. However it’s not just chemical weapons that can have a potential impact on national security, another one which has come to the public and government attention is the issue of fake news. In the past fake news has been used to try and influence elections not only here, but in Europe and the USA, by third parties.
Some people will think that National Security only deals with military threats or cyber threats. However it also includes the health of it citizens. We don’t live in a world where we will end up with a zombie apocalypse but a government must be prepared for any outbreak of a disease that could impact on the nation’s health, or even the livestock that helps provide food.
This leads onto the one of the final strands of national security, which is economic security. These two strands are in fact intrinsically linked to one another, without economic security the country would be at risk of unrest due to the potential for riots to happen, currency manipulations as well. All these can undermine national security as well and a government does need to be aware of these risk’s. Also without strong emphasis on national security, businesses would not want to invest in the country.
Given the wide breadth of threats that national security encompasses, it is vital that governments have our safety at the forefront of their minds when deciding polices for the country. It is a fundamental duty of any PM, to make sure that the country’s national security is not undermine or put at risk. Whilst it is important to speak to people who, might threaten our national security, as the PM said about Russia “engage, but beware” should be the mantra when engaging with countries that could undermine our national security.