Key Areas of National Security Countries Must Address

national security

National security is a broad umbrella term for many types of security a country needs to address. Governments are responsible for their citizens and must have policies and programs in place to ensure the overall stability of the nation. Here are ten key areas that have been identified as contributing to national security.

National Economic Security

One of the key areas that require these skills and qualifications is national economic security.

A country is not isolated from the international arena, therefore, it must consider global financial interactions as well as domestic policy. Additionally, economic security is integrated with military security, as a government must be prepared to defend its interests.

National economic security includes initiatives like housing subsidies and food programs. These plans lift families out of dire poverty. Research shows that this assistance improves health and school performance and leads to children growing up with higher earning capacity. Children growing up poor have more equal opportunities from participating in such packages. Positive outcomes are linked to more advantageous learning environments, a reduction in stress, decreased adverse or criminal behavior, and result in better brain development. Ultimately, these children become contributing members of society.

A masters in national security is an important step in working toward a career in national security. An education of this nature will prepare policymakers, officials in mid-career, members of defence bodies, private organisations, students, and academics to contribute to national security strategically.

National Disaster Security

The five key types of natural disasters are hurricanes, floods, volcanoes, tsunamis, and earthquakes. The responses of humans to these natural disasters mimic their reactions to armed conflict. They are a need for shelter, water, and food, and fear, which includes a downswing in the social order, and shock. The United Nations (UN) and humanitarian groups work with a country’s military to respond to natural disasters.

Some of the causes of negative outcomes of natural disasters involve urbanisation, overpopulation, poor economies, and land degradation. Those citizens that experience this background are more likely to build their homes in unsafe areas. This leads to humanitarian crises.

The national response to disaster management requires a planned, coordinated approach. The military is usually best geared towards taking the lead. As well as physical relief, there is a need for psychological trauma support. The measures for dealing with these calamities should include early warning systems, relief efforts for physical needs, relocation, and preventative actions such as retaining walls.

National Military Security

National military security is a country’s ability to defend its borders from aggression by other nations and deal with acts of terrorism. This means being able to protect its sovereignty, culture, language, way of life, and overall well-being. Countries can engage in collective defence, collective security, global security, and international law to combat threats to their security.

Collective defence involves an agreement between nation-states to provide each other with military support in the event of an invasion. Collective security denotes countries forming leagues such as NATO and the European Union (EU). This arrangement can reduce the likelihood of an attack by another country due to the knowledge of these alliances, as well as joint governance initiatives and international aid. Global security is the concept that the security of any one nation promotes the security of all. This idea arose from the United Nations (UN) after the Cold War ended. Its aims are peacekeeping, promoting confidence and trust, and international governance. Finally, countries cooperate with one another regarding international law.

National Energy Security

Although a country need not produce all its own sources of energy, this does improve its independence and give it leverage in cases of conflict. Factors that are important in national energy security are dependable access, availability, diversifying sources, distribution infrastructure, and reliable pricing.

Energy sources incorporate fossil fuels, solar power, and wind power. But it also includes the underlying infrastructure: how energy is stored and the state of the national power grid. The rise and fall of global markets affect the cost of energy that is domestically manufactured and not only from foreign sources. By producing more oil, the USA has increased its influence over international oil prices. Likewise, it has produced greater quantities of renewable energy.

National Resource Security

National resource security refers to a cleaner environment and touches on water, food, energy, and climate change. The latter has a marked impact on the other three variables. These factors affect poverty eradication and sustainable development.  

All countries are reliant on minerals, arable land, biodiversity, an abundance of usable fish sources, potable water, and energy. Some of these are renewable or have alternatives, while others are not. Countries need to protect their national resources with sustainability. Often, less developed countries are not in a position to do so.

National Demographic Security

National security as a whole is greatly affected by national demographic security. These effects are seen in the number of employable citizens, including taxable income, and the size of the military. Other areas of impact are health, social services, and social security. Factors that determine the demographics of a population are ethnicity, religion, language, mortality rate, and age.

Some religions, such as Catholicism, are against birth control. If such a group is preponderant in a country, this can result in overpopulation and an inability to provide adequately for all citizens. On the other hand, a dwindling population reduces the number of people who can fill critical vacancies in all industries, including defence.

Countries which experience a disproportionate number of citizens aged 15 to 29 are two-and-a-half more prone to engage in civil conflict. The number of males to females exacerbates this. So does rapid urbanisation in the presence of disparate quantities of youth and high unemployment. High mortality is linked to communicable diseases and epidemics, which often claim the lives of children, or HIV/AIDS, which affects the employable segment of the population.

National Border Security

The Border Patrol in Canada has seven separate regions to manage; the US has two areas. The first stretch of 2000 miles is the Puerto Rican island and the coastal parts around the Florida Peninsula. Then, another 6000 miles span the borders with Canada and Mexico.

The import and export of products via these borders are essential to the economic well-being of the US and Canada. However, it is necessary to protect both countries from terrorism, illegal immigrants, human trafficking, and the smuggling of contraband, weapons, and narcotics. Over 1000 criminals are arrested daily by US Border Patrol.

Additionally, countries need to ensure that no disease enters from pests infecting agricultural produce, livestock, and pets.

National Geostrategic Security

National geographic strategy falls within the overarching discipline of geopolitics. This relates to foreign policies determined by geographical aspects which are crucial to military and political policies. Of importance in this regard is acquiring access to the sea at certain points, trade routes, islands, rivers, and key bottleneck features of the land. Benefits are achieved and safeguarded by maintaining a large military presence and having war fleets in place.

Geopolitics is linked to geographical advantages, and economic and political alliances or enmity. It is a factor in foreign policy and diplomatic relations. Apart from trade agreements, other issues negotiated between countries include education, immigration, business, pollution, refugees, and conflict.

National Cyber Security

National cybersecurity is the means and actions required to defend a country’s operating systems and data infrastructure from attacks from within or beyond its borders. Homeland Security, National Defense, and Law Enforcements are the three arms of America’s National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS). The NCPS consists of systems within systems.

The role of the NCPS is multifaceted. It includes software and hardware to detect and prevent intrusion, sharing of information, and the analysis of everything that impinges on national cybersecurity.  The NCPS makes use of information technology infrastructure through the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Its processes and policies are determined by the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI).

National Food Security

The 2020 statistics for American food insecurity showed no change from the previous year, standing at 10.5% of the population going without food for at least a part of the year, or one in eight people, of which 12 million were children. Thus, national food security stood at 89.5%. Almost four percent of US citizens suffered from extremely low security, amounting to over five million families.

Food security is the availability of sufficient food, or the income to purchase enough, to enable an individual to have a healthy, active life. It is not directly related to poverty as households on either side of the poverty line can be food secure or food insecure.

Low-income households have other issues that interact with food insecurity, such as belonging to a disadvantaged group, chronic poor health with consequent high medical expenses, and lack of affordable housing. Policies regarding food security need to take cognizance of these social factors.

Every country should have a national security policy in place to cope with internal and external threats and see to the well-being of its citizens.