We face a distinct 21st century battlefield which deals with many non-state actors and this can get legally messy, U.S. Rep. Allen West (R-FL), previously a career military officer, noted to a Capitol Hill audience. For instance, in dealing with terrorist suspects, a problem arises when considering them legally as criminals or as enemy combatants and if they belong in a criminal court or military tribunal. Many terrorists do not wear uniforms and act on the behalf of a non-state entity. Some also cannot be tried in a typical court setting due to the sensitivity of the evidence or risk of identities involved in the case. Given these factors, this is but a small snippet of complications which arrive in dealing with the 21st century battlefield.
Anything that threatens the well-being of America can be labeled a national security concern such as the U.S. debt looming at $14.35 trillion, the freshman Congressman remarked to a crowd of mostly conservative students at the Eagle Forum’s annual Capitol Hill Summit. It is the case because if the United States cannot make good on its debt, then it runs the risk of a continuing weak dollar. And with a considerable portion of the debt owed to China, China may have certain leverage over the U.S. that it could exploit, which would lessen America’s independence, as many notables have warned including West, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A broader scope consequence is that the American model would be undermined. America will not be looked at as the lone superpower or as the powerhouse it used to be. This collective thought might spur certain organizations and/or countries to shift their intentions in a more unfavorable way, warned West, who sits on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.
Rep. West left with a charge to the college students and attendees of the Forum. He stated, “This is your time to be a minuteman or woman and stand up.” In fact, that was the continual theme throughout the two-day engagement…to do something. Among all the activist groups on campus and the inspired speeches from congressmen and women, the Eagle Forum keeps the conservative energy alive and thumping as 2012 rolls around the corner.