Which national security issue seem to be most necessary for our President to respond to at the present time?
I would agree with almost all the posts above. All the issues mentioned are extremely important, particularly the prevention of another terrorist attack on the scale of (or even greater than) what happened on 9/11/01. Also worth mentioning is the need to try to control the proliferation and use of nuclear weapons. It is not at all unimaginable, for instance, that nuclear weapons may be used, sooner rather than later, by someone in Pakistan or someone in North Korea, to mention just two places of concern. If a nuclear war breaks out in the world, many other problems will suddenly seem much less important than they do today.
Security, in all its forms, is important and requires consistent and continued vigilance. This is one area that does seem to be receiving adequate attention and experiencing success. The attention focused on energy is important but seems misplaced somehow, because it does not seem to be making much of a difference in the big picture. (In other words, we don't seem to be significantly better off now than we were five years ago.) The economy, and not just because of the current "crisis," does seem to have gotten the most attention but has had neutral or negative results. (In other words, despite the money and talk that has been spent on the economy, things are no better and might even be called worse.) To that extent, the economy is the issue which needs more attention, and America's economy impacts the world's economy.
Off the top of my head, my thought about national security immediately goes to "military" and "intelligence." I think these are the two most important entitities to keep at the top of the national security budget. That said, I also believe there could be more control over the finances within each (as in, there are likely several places where money is wasted within).
If the bigger picture here is how to fix the budget crisis, although it is a small percentage, I'd love to see individuals in Congress take drastic salary cuts the way so many other Americans have.
Is it just me that is concerned about our environmental security? Economic security is all very well, but if the world continues plummeting towards environmental oblivion then there will not be much economy to safeguard. Certainly, what I would like to see Obama doing would be to start putting into practice serious long-term policies to reduce carbon emissions and to develop renewable energy sources.
The filtering of military and civilian intelligence that continues to go either ignored, unnoticed, or not correlated enough to terrorist activity. It was said that, prior to September 11, US intelligence agencies had received a number of inklings as to what would take place. This is far from a conspiracy theory, in fact, it is a huge overlook from the people who are meant to support us at all times. Yet, they failed. I think that the mere fact that we became attacked is a huge mark of failure on our part. How do we know now that it will not happen again? We already messed up big time once. Therefore, the best way to do is to grab every single piece of information we get and get to the bottom of it, take the marrow out of it, and digest it to the max.
Economic instability is key, I agree. Until we handle this debt ceiling problem, we have a chance that our economy will come tumbling down. Since we have lost so much in the last few years, we cannot afford to lose more. We also need to worry about the economic stability of the world. Everything is teetering on the edge of destruction right now. When one domino falls, they are all threatened.
I agree that this depends on the way you define "security."
I would argue that economic issues are fundamental to our security. I would therefore argue that creating a more coherent energy policy is the most important security issue today. We need to be able to have more energy independence and to be less reliant on the Middle East. This would help us be more secure because it would reduce our involvement in that troubled area of the world.
I think that you can find this question to be answered in a variety of ways. People will have different answers to what constitutes "national security" and how it can be interpreted. I think that you are going to have to assess for yourself the different answers offered.
Given the recent shootings in Norway, I think that homeland security should be focused on the presence of domestic terrorism. The suspect in the Norway shootings lamented the "unity over diversity." This brings to light how the globalized setting where heterogeneity is commonplace actually brings out the ire in some individuals. American national security policy has to focus on the war on terror abroad and the threats faced at home. Due to the attacks of September 11, this vision of terrorism has been fairly one sided. Yet, "homegrown terrorism" threatens our way of life just as much as terror threats from abroad. Given the intense level of partisan debate, the fact that there is an economic threat in which people do feel disenfranchised on a wide level, and the use of information technology to disseminate and gather more opinions, some of which are potently dangerous, the attack in Oslo brings to light that homegrown terror threats can be seen as a national security issue that must be addressed in an effective format.