The Economy and National Security

 In writing Necessary Assets, one of the points I wanted the reader to ponder is al-Qaeda’s singular determination to damage an already fragile US economy.

In 2001, al-Qaeda merely followed up their failed 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. They used a different mode of attack in 2001 but the outcome was designed to achieve the same goal. Take down the World Trade Center and destroy America’s dominance in the world economy. Destabilize Manhattan to the point where “Wall Street” is no longer synonymous with American economic power in the current world structure.

Mike Morell is the retiring Deputy Director of the CIA. After 33 years of service to that agency, he ends his career as one of those behind the scenes people who closely advised the last three presidents. His opinions on matters under the CIA purview are highly valued. He has earned the respect of those whom he advised.

You and I can believe this man knows more about potential threats to harm the US than anyone. So what is the threat he worries about most? Is it bioterrorism? Is it small tactical nuclear devices falling into the hands of terrorists? Is it cyber attacks designed to cripple our infrastructure or military security apparatus? Would he ever say what keeps him awake at night? Yes he would.

In a recent CBS interview, Morell stated that he is most concerned by our inability at the national level to make political decisions to push our economy and society forward. According to Morell, our economy is the heart of our ability to maintain our national security. Morell pointed directly at the political parties constantly at each other’s throats on almost every matter. It is that behavior that keeps him awake at night.

The Soviet Union collapsed almost overnight to everyone’s surprise. Our experts did not see it coming. Why this political collapse at that point in history? Their economy failed. This economic failure achieved what brute force and diplomacy could not. Is it possible we could suffer the same fate?  Morell seems to thinks so.