National security has been an issue facing the world for centuries. Although it’s nothing new, the world is, perhaps, in more danger than it’s ever been, thanks to innovative technologies in weaponry and artificial intelligence that threaten to weaken the security of infrastructures all over the world.
Every nation has a system of defense in place that keeps everything from its government and economy to its citizens safe. Security systems can range from an armed and highly-trained military to virtual security that keeps information in the cloud safe from hackers. Your government and its security and defense play a huge role in not only your safety but also the safety of people all over the world.
What Issues Currently Affect Global Security?
We often get wrapped up in our own country’s security issues that we forget that important struggles happen elsewhere in the world too. Apparent threats, like terrorism and war, get a lot of recognition all over the world because they are the most in-your-face security threats.
Still, there are other, more obscure, threats that can place as much damage on a nation, and the world, as physical threats. Some of the most important issues that affect global security today include:
Although some countries experience acts of terrorism more often than others, no country in the world is immune to their threat. Many countries have ramped up defense departments and strategy to attempt to curb the problem, but it’s virtually impossible to stop terrorists who are determined to carry out their vicious acts.
Contrary to popular belief, terrorism doesn’t just affect people in countries other than where the terrorists reside. Often, domestic terrorism is just as dangerous, causing a person to attack others in his own country, state, town, or neighborhood. Between 2001 and 2016 alone, there were 85 domestic terrorist attacks in the United States, many of which were caused by political extremists.
Currently, ISIS, an influential group of extreme militants, is one of the most significant threats to the world. The unit carries out horrendously violent terrorist attacks on several nations, claiming responsibility for attacks in numerous countries, including France, Iraq, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Organized crime threatens countries domestically and internationally. Defense organizations can struggle to stop organized crime organizations because they are typically cautious with their plans and motives. Members of organized crime organizations work together for some illegal purpose, such as prostitution, human trafficking, or drugs, with the driving force being money.
Mexico has some of the highest rates of organized crime, much of which is related to drug and human trafficking, but several other areas of the world also are plagued with organized crime rings. Gangs that form in these rings can potentially be responsible for thousands of deaths each year, domestically and internationally.
Civil Conflict and War
In recent years, Syria has been especially afflicted with a civil war that has threatened the country’s well-being and existence. North and South Korea have also been involved in a long-standing conflict with each other since 1950 when the Korean War began. One of the most notable civil wars was that in the United States between the Union and Confederacy in the later part of the 19th century.
Civil conflict and wars occur when groups within the same country or region have opposing political, religious, or other beliefs that cause dramatic conflict. The organized groups can form their governments and militaries that turn against each other, sometimes resulting in a large-scale war.
Unfortunately, civil wars rarely stay on a domestic scale. Often, other countries get involved when issues arise that may affect their nation’s security or economy. Sometimes, the desire of one country to assist another in its efforts to end a civil conflict can cause extreme threats toward that country by other involved nations.
It’s not only humans that are responsible for creating the security issues that most affect the world today. As technology soars, so does artificial intelligence or intelligence of computers and devices.
As helpful as artificial intelligence is to individuals, businesses, and the government, it’s also left the door open for major security breaches that can threaten the well-being of every individual on the planet.
AI systems can fail themselves, leaving them vulnerable to hackers or loss of important information. Or, talented hackers can help themselves to everything from individual bank accounts to top-level security information in a government’s computer system.
Some debate whether allowing AI to work autonomously, such as creating autonomous military robots, is a smart move for the world or one that can result in human destruction someday.
Environmental devastation is another important, but not as obvious, topic that threatens the world and its security. Many governments enact policies and organizations that outline ways for leaders and citizens to protect the environment and protect further destruction by targeting climate change, carbon emissions, wildlife and land preservation, and more.
Some countries, especially those that suffer from extreme poverty, are more susceptible to the effects of environmental devastation than developed nations. Citizens in impoverished countries are also more vulnerable to disease and pollution.
It’s the responsibility of worldwide governments and leaders to work together to put environmental plans in place to prevent widespread disease outbreaks and further environmental destruction that threatens the lives of people, animals, and plants around the world.
How Do Governments Aid Security Around the World?
There are a lot of people and organizations that work together to handle defense and foreign affairs issues around the world.
Each country can run its own defense department or organization, comprised of appointed leaders in charge of discussing and implementing new security policies. Those leaders can also work with other world leaders to address important security issues facing their nations and other parts of the world.
Defense and Security Organizations
Although there are numerous security and defense organizations all over the world, there are a few names that you probably hear about more often than others.
The Council of Foreign Relations is a nonprofit U.S. organization that operates in New York City and Washington D.C. This group offers appropriate resources on current issues that affect the security of the United States and other nations it’s involved with. Canada has a similar organization of its own, known as the Canadian Defense and Foreign Affairs Institute.
The United States also has the Department of Defense, a government organization that oversees the leaders and other organizations in the government that are responsible for defense and security.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is one of the most famous world organization that focuses on keeping the world’s nations at peace. The 29 countries that are members of NATO work together to defend each other in cases of war, terrorism, cybersecurity, and more.
The Importance of Virtual Defense
It’s not only human government officials who are responsible for defending their own countries and others in the world. Virtual defense is something that has taken shape over the last two decades, with the United States government even launching its own virtual government, known as vGov, several years ago.
Since then, virtual systems have become quite complicated, even helping to train military members on combat procedures, air assaults, and more. Some governments use virtual worlds to house government currency as a backup for other systems.
How Do Defense Organizations Influence Each Other Around the World?
All defensive organizations in the world not only have a responsibility to protect their own nations but also to protect the security of people around the world. A common goal of these government departments is to make the world a better place for everyone, not just the citizens of their country.
Similarly, the actions one government takes regarding its domestic security can affect the way the security organizations of other countries create and implement policies. Individual countries and their security policies can have a domino effect on other nations, especially those that work closely with allies of those countries.
A healthy defense system in one country can signal to other countries that it’s a unified nation prepared to fight when necessary and come to the aid of its allies in emergency situations. Additionally, that country’s policies can potentially influence other countries to follow in its footsteps.
Therefore, we can’t treat security policies as individual policies that impact only our country, but instead, should view them as ones that have the potential to affect the security and defensive actions of the world.
Conclusion: Defending the Nation and the World Against Global Threats
World security is only as good as each nation’s willingness is to create strong policies that strengthen not only its safety and defensive tactics but also those of other nations. Although each government can outline its strategies and security tactics, those policies can influence the decisions and actions of other nations directly.
From avoiding further environmental destruction to preventing terrorist attacks around the globe, domestic and international security is vital to a safer, more peaceful world.