Does the decline of the Roman Empire portend America’s? The eighteenth century historian Edward Gibbon once wrote, “The long peace, and the uniform government of the Romans, introduced a slow and secret poison into the vitals of the empire. The minds of men were gradually reduced to the same level, the fire of genius was extinguished, and even the military spirit evaporated. Decline of genius was soon followed by corruption…” Given the present condition of our civil society and the threats we face both within and without, some modern leaders and scholars have drawn relatable parallels between United States and Rome in its final days. But is this the case?
There are 196 states in the world today. Each of these states holds a unique wealth of history, culture, tradition, and custom. Diversity is often celebrated and cherished by many. World travelers relish the thought of exploring the numerous cultures of the world and students seek foreign experiences to enrich their understanding and respect for other cultures, norms, and ways of life. In the political environment, however, diversity can plunge nation-states into deep and treacherous waters. Imagine an international environment where 196 states rally and vie for a limited supply of power, affluence, and resources, while attempting to remain solvent, preserve sovereignty, and project confidence in a truly anarchic international atmosphere.
I recently had the privilege of attending a Security and Defense summit in South Carolina hosted by the Citadel. The gathering pulled in members and leaders from every branch of military and government. For many, it was a chance to voice their concerns off the record. Sadly, most panels and discussions demonstrated one disturbing and re-occurrent theme – America is losing.
We are not the only generation of Americans to face overwhelming odds. In 1777, the American Colonial bid for independence teetered on failure. At Valley Forge, Washington’s army dangled by a thread; diplomatic relations between the French and colonists had stalled; and elsewhere, the Continental Army experienced strategic losses including the British occupation of Philadelphia – America’s largest city.
The hope of freedom was fading. Within the Continental Congress, some leaders began resigning the cause to fate. What turned the table on hopelessness?
In their report to the President and Congress the OSC established that there was gross mismanagement of the FAA’s Red Team, which resulted in a substantial and specific danger to public safety. Too bad the airlines, airport authorities and FAA did not address this prior to 9/11. The reason the FAA didn’t know what to do with the Red Team findings is that there were testing protocols established with the airlines to which FAA agents at airports had to adhere when conducting screening checkpoint tests. The Red Team and terrorists didn’t give a flip about testing protocols, they just wanted to defeat the system and, in Al Qaeda’s case, kill Americans, destroy the World Trade Center and strike the Pentagon.
While Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia and Egypt remain faltering democracies, no nation’s declension is more alarming than Turkey’s – a key Western ally that has enjoyed stability for more than five decades. In 2013, Turkey’s internal struggles made international headlines when hundreds of thousands of citizens gathered in the nation’s largest cities to protest against Erdoğan’s impingements on everything from freedom of the press to freedom of assembly. But the crackdown was not confined to the political realm.
On 15 May, 2015, the American Leadership and Policy Foundation (ALPF) had the distinct honor of announcing the J.H. Meyer-Ronald Reagan Legacy in Leadership Scholarship. The $2,500.00 per year scholarship will be awarded to ALPF interns and Jr. Fellows who demonstrate excellence in civic service and leadership.
The chairman of the American Leadership and Policy Foundation, David Stuckenberg, is a military pilot who writes about airspace security. Speaking via Skype, he said the present safety systems are inadequate. “We need to understand that we’ve been lucky and as technology increases and as drones proliferate people will increasingly look at these as weapons of opportunity or technologies that can be adapted for ill intent.”
Historically, military powers have endeavored to exploit the advantages afforded by holding the high ground on the battlefield. Beginning in World War I with the introduction of the airplane and the new perspective it offered, the high ground migrated to the air. By the late 20th century, war fighters had greatly advanced the application of airpower. Today, aided by technology, the high ground has shifted to space.
A large variety of jamming devices – illegal to market and sell in the U.S. – are available on the Internet. Their use could lead to interference with the reception of signals from our Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) satellites (GPS). Through frequency interference and manipulation, criminals, terrorists, and hostile powers can deny or scramble information in a manner that will damage communication, transportation and function of most digital technologies in the private and public sectors.
Since 9/11, the United States government has made extensive investments to safeguard citizens, cherished monuments, critical infrastructure and key government installations. Unfortunately, many safeguards are easily bypassed by overflight. On January 26, 2015, a small drone bypassed the fences and radar protecting the White House and crashed unceremoniously onto the south lawn.
In a landmark Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit brought by Bloomberg, the Federal Court ordered the Fed to disclose documentation pertaining to its emergency lending facilities. Here’s the crux, experts had initially estimated the Fed’s lending to be in the neighborhood of $7 trillion – but they were off – way off. Analysis of FOIA documents by Levy’s economists revealed that the true amount of the bailout (across all LOLR functions) exceeded $29.5 trillion (that’s 29 thousand five hundred times a billion!).
ALPF Chairman David Stuckenberg and Director of Communications David Liapis speak on Spokane Washington’s KJRB 790 RADIO- about the civil-unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Pealing away the media rhetoric, Stuckenberg and Liapis hone in on the core civic issues at play amid an unprecedented period of civil-unrest near St Louis, Missouri.
The ALPF would like to invite you to learn more about how we are bringing together America’s nation’s top intellectuals and leaders to help solve our nation’s most challenging policy issues. The ALPF prospectus provides an overview of the foundation’s mission, philosophy, fellowship program, financials, and more… A Foundation by the people for the people, men and women nationwide are realizing – it’s time to stand up for America.
Today, most of federal agencies have fortified, barricaded, and closed off to the public – the public they exist to serve. Have you ever tried walking into the Department of Commerce, the Department of Health and Human Services or some other federal agency? Don’t bother… you’ll hardly get a foot through the door. Why? Because government has forgotten it depends on the people for survival. There was once a time when it meant something to be a “U.S. tax payer.”