October 11 – Our Government: National Security

Domestic Terrorism Policy

Vital Sign Religious Freedom

On September 28, 2022, Cara Abercrombie, deputy assistant to the president and coordinator for defense policy and arms control for the White House, said, “I think you will see themes largely unchanged from the interim National Security Strategic Guidance issued in March 2021.” She assured those present at a briefing that the long-awaited National Security Strategy of President Biden’s administration is “coming soon.”

The president laid out his interim guidance in March 2021. In it, he stated, “In foreign policy and national security, just as in domestic policy, we have to chart a new course.” He acknowledged challenges posed by Russia and China, and the “international climate crisis,” pledging to partner with allies. The president said, “We will make smart and disciplined choices regarding our national defense and the responsible use of our military, while elevating diplomacy as our tool of first resort.” On matters of trade, the president’s guidance said, “Our trade and international commerce policies must serve all Americans, not just a privileged few.”

President Biden concluded, “No nation is better positioned to navigate this future than America. Doing so requires us to embrace and reclaim our enduring advantages, and to approach the world from a position of confidence and strength. If we do this, working with our democratic partners, we will meet every challenge and outpace every challenger. Together, we can and will build back better.”

Since issuing the interim guidance, the world is beginning to recognize that the post-Cold War era is over. Beijing and Moscow are showing increasing aggression and are not partners in power. Russia has invaded Ukraine and China is threatening Taiwan. An article in Foreign Policy suggests the new guidance should be realistic and not be “largely unchanged.” They also say that the United States and its allies’ reliance on Middle Eastern energy should reverse by increasing U.S. energy production and export capacity.

An additional portion of the focus on America’s security has been countering domestic terrorism. In June 2021, the White House compiled its strategy for doing just that. Things the government can do are listed in four strategic pillars. One, understand and share domestic terrorism-related information; two, prevent domestic terrorism recruitment and mobilization to violence; three, disrupt and deter domestic terrorism activity; and, four, confront long-term contributors to domestic terrorism. Within each of the four pillars, they set forth strategies, many of which involved the FBI and local law enforcement.

The Cato Institute says that the White House strategy on domestic terrorism is “a recipe for civil liberties abuses.” Since the domestic terrorism strategy includes a focus on extremism, Cato asks, “Exactly who in the government (at any level) will decide who constitutes an ‘extremist’ or what constitutes an ‘extremist view?” The institute voiced concern about policies impacting First Amendment-protected online speech and Second Amendment gun control issues.

According to Rise to Peace, “As distrust in governments and institutions continues to grow, and global challenges remain unmet, individuals will increasingly use online platforms to find like-minded individuals, developing networks to provide a sense of community, security, and identity. This deepening tribalism has the potential of fragmenting society into a patchwork of hostile, ideological communities.” They suggest the nation is ripe for right-wing, left-wing, and jihadist-inspired domestic terror, which emphasizes violent action as a means to the end they desire.

King David wrote in Psalm 20:7-8, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.” In Isaiah 54:17, God’s prophet wrote, “No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

How then should we pray? 

  • For FBI Director Christopher Wray to uphold the law and the Constitution as he leads the bureau.
  • That Attorney General Merrick Garland would turn his heart to seek God and His justice.
  • For President Biden and his administration to look to the Lord for direction with regard to national security.
  • For confidence in God and His protection as you intercede over believers and those who are concerned with the direction of the country.
  • For America’s media outlets to cover situations and events with accuracy and transparency, without a political narrative.
  • For people of faith to look to the Lord for solutions to the nation’s problems rather than candidates or political parties.
  • For Americans to turn to the Lord and gain compassion and understanding between various factions and “tribes” in this nation.

See previous Pray 7 daily featured readings.

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