Blunt Offers Bleak View of National Security in Symposium Keynote
BY MATT MCCORMACK
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, addressed this year’s symposium theme, “Security Versus Liberty: Balancing the Scales of Freedom,” by discussing three main ideas in his opening keynote on the evening of Monday, Sept. 14.
CSC lecture hall was filled with students, faculty, staff, and members of the public as Blunt discussed liberty versus security, the difficulty in finding a balance between the two, and how to expand each of them.
“What are we giving up, and what are we protecting?” Blunt asked the audience.
“Security is based on our perceptions of threats,” Blunt said. While discussing security, the senator also said that society expects the federal government to provide for the common defense.
He then talked about the United States’ international relations.
“Our friends, frankly, don’t trust us,” Blunt said, adding that U.S. allies and friends around the world have difficulty understanding the United States’ policy on security.
As the speech continued, he discussed Iran.
“The Iranians continue to support bad things everywhere,” Blunt said. He added that the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, has killed and deported his own people, and said, “Iran supports these activities.”
As the discussion of Iran continued, Blunt addressed U.S. negotiations with Iran. He said the U.S. has to ensure that Iran does not have any nuclear weapons and that the U.S. can, anywhere and at any time, have sanctions. However, Blunt said that nothing has been achieved with these two plans.
“Iran continues to promote anti-American and anti-Israel mentality,” he said.
The senator also discussed cyber challenges. According to Blunt, 21.5 million Americans have been compromised in the cyber world. The senator said there is vulnerability to cybersecurity, such as people trying to gain access into the weapon system and financial system.
As Blunt continues his work in the legislature, he said he wants to project economic freedom such as free trade and fair trade. Blunt added that he wants to project religious freedom and fight human trafficking.
The senator also said that he wants laws dealing with security to have a temporary status in order to adjust to the ever-changing world of security.
Students in attendance said they liked the points discussed in Blunt’s speech.
Naima Caydiid, ’19, said she liked the part of the speech that addressed the influence of America’s presence in international affairs such as free trade.
Jon Antel, ’17 particularly liked Blunt’s discussion of maintaining cybersecurity.
“I found his speech really intriguing,” Antel said. “He brought up some good points.”