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National Security
National Security

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In the wake of 9/11, the United States has significantly expanded its national security strategy, in order to safeguard the U.S. against any form of national crisis. Terrorism and homeland security are the key points of focus of the present U.S. national security strategy. However, potential crises are defined broadly and encompass political and economic threats, as well as any circumstances that threaten to undermine American values or other factors such as energy and environmental security.

National security is of particular importance to the U.S., due to the United States leading role in international diplomacy and world economic security. However, libertarian groups in the United States, believe that the present national security strategy should be scaled down. They believe that the remit of agencies such as the NSA and CIA has become too broad, particularly in regard to state-sponsored data collection and analysis of domestic U.S. citizens personal communications data. Likewise, many argue that questions remain unanswered in regard to what justification the U.S. actually has to infringe and occasionally suspend individual citizens rights on the basis of terrorism and homeland security concerns.

However, proponents of the existing U.S. National security strategy believe that not only should national security come before individual rights, but that weak national security leaves the United States open to terrorist attacks. Some also argue that increased threats of cyber terrorism from individuals and nation states are justification enough for activities such as mass data collection.

In response, however, to public outcry in regard to mass domestic spying revelations and the expiry of the U.S. Patriot Act in mid-2015, the subsequent U.S. Freedom Act sought to limit some bulk data collection practices.

Moreover, although many U.S. citizens believe national security to be a contemporary issue, the original National Security Act itself was originally passed in 1947. Rather notably, however, the Act at that time did not define the idea of national security itself, leaving it open to almost completely ambiguous interpretation.

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