Sunday, August 13, 2006

Another Crisis in National Security?

"A national security crisis is brewing, and if our country doesn't take immediate action, it could be devastating for the future of the United States." So says William E. Kirwan in the opening line of an op-ed in tomorrow's Washington Post.

As the co-author of a book that takes a rather expansive view of security threats facing the United States, perhaps some would say I'm not well situated to criticize Mr. Kirwan for using the language of a "national security crisis" to attract attention to his plea for an improved educational system in the United States. But, in fact, Dan Caldwell and I argue in Seeking Security in an Insecure World (p. 14) that "broadening" our understanding of security threats can go too far.

So, let me officially register my disapproval of Mr. Kirwan's effort to link our shortcomings in the educational realm to national security. He can problematize and even politicize them, but it's going way too far to try to securitize them.