David Unger on America’s Pursuit of Security

Friday, February 24, 2012

Senior New York Times reporter David Unger investigates the hidden costs of America’s pursuit of absolute national security. In The Emergency State: America’s Pursuit of Absolute Security at All Costs Unger argues that the emphasis on security has distorted national politics and has failed to make us safer.



David Unger

Comments [4]

MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Totally agree with Unger about universal service... so many problems with our current system: so many inequalities in terms of sacrifice and burden; so much insulation from the ruling class from the cost of war. Plus, we lose the opportunity for young people from all strata and geographical regions to intermingle and learn about each other and to develop life-long connections.

Feb. 24 2012 12:36 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I thought "extraordinary rendition" was sending a prisoner (kidnapped or not) to *another* country to be tortured, back when that couldn't be done here, although we supposedly had the other country's assurances that they wouldn't use torture. One example was Maher Arar, the Canadian who was arrested at JFK airport.

Feb. 24 2012 12:34 PM

Isn't America's recent "wars" more economic? What about the military-industrial complex?

Feb. 24 2012 12:20 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Woodrow Wilson imposed a "League of Nations" on the other Allies, which led to the creation of many states out of the defeated empires after WWI, but it failed because the US did not join, and went isolationist, which led to the rise of Bolshevik Soviet Union, Mussolini's Fascist Italy, Hitler and his Nazi Third Reich, and others. After we were dragged into WWII despite our desire to remain neutral and out of wars, we decided to created a new substitute for the defunct League of Nations that was supposed to work, the United Nations. We decided that isolationism was wrong after all. But now there is the desire to go back to delusional isolationism because of bungling of the wars with the Islamofascists, which has raised national debt, caused the death of 6,000 soldiers and many more wounded, and the outcomes are still dubious.

Now we have the rise of Iran and the threat that the UN's NPT will not hold much longer, leading to a rapid proliferation of nuclear states. So again, the tensions between those who want us to "get out of the world" and those who maintain our need to be strongly engaged or face a much worse situation later on.

Feb. 24 2012 12:15 PM

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