Today we face a similar threat from Iran, but instead of playing out on the world stage in a short 13 days, it plays out in slow motion over years as they continue to work on nuclear weapons and threaten the region. Combine that with a current day threat of cyber-attacks, and it compounds the many new ways in which nations are vulnerable. A well-placed virus can spread through networked computers and ultimately wipe out files by overwriting them.
Last week a former U.S. government official said American authorities believe that Iranian hackers, likely supported by their government, were responsible for the recent cyber-attacks. U.S. agencies have been assisting in an investigation and concluded that the level of resources needed to conduct this type of attack showed there was some degree of involvement by the Iranian government.
Conventional warfare, counter-terrorism, cyber-attacks and a volatile world economy are threats on the horizon. As a nation, we must prepare to defend against them. At a time when the national psyche is weary of strife and longs for a calmer and more prosperous time, we cannot allow ourselves to let down our guard. We must be vigilant and active on the world stage, for those who wish us harm will prey on weakness and lack of visible resolve.
Gen. George Marshall said it best after the end of World War II: “The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it.”
The U.S. must find new ways to demonstrate leadership and sufficient strength to keep the lid on a very tumultuous world. Failure to lead decisively is not an option, but it becomes a very real possibility if we don’t pursue the role we’ve held for the last 60 years as the leader of the free world.
Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.