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Destler Dodge

As we come another year closer to the 2016 election, potential candidates have already begun their plan of attack, showcasing their views on what policies they will push for if they are elected. This brings us to Jeb Bush, brother of George W. Bush, son of George Bush Sr. and former Governor of Florida. On Wednesday, Feb. 18, Jeb Bush spoke to the Chicago Council of Global Affairs and laid out what he thinks America needs in regards to its Foreign Policy. This is where Bush makes a terrible misstep: trying to define why we fight as a nation. 

At this conference, Bush criticized the Obama administration, stating that, "We definitely no longer inspire fear in our enemies," according to Reuters. This is not only an eerie and somewhat totalitarian attitude toward fighting against dangerous and militant groups around the globe, but it disregards why we even fight in the first place. 

Why do we need to inspire more fear in our enemies? Fear-mongering is a weapon commonly used by terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS to manipulate people in order to further their own goals. The United States should not have to resort to fighting terrorism with terrorism. First and foremost, the United States has an obligation to protect its citizens and its interests, but especially in the case of fighting ISIS, we are fighting to defend those who can't defend themselves. The recent beheading of a Japanese citizen and the ongoing murders ISIS commits serve as a powerful reminder. I'm not a fan of participating in wars without good reason, but we should remember in this case we are protecting the innocent. The U. S. should not be participating in wars because of ego alone.  

This paranoia and terror also seems to drive Bush's other views on national security, which include raising the Pentagon budget and maintaining the level of surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA), as reported by the New York Times. The United States can't afford to be spending excessive amounts of money on defense while trying to undercut important domestic programs. With recent reports of spyware being found natively in Lenovo computers, we should be reducing the NSA's authority to spy on the public without a warrant now more than ever, as it can lead to harmful attacks on citizens through backdoors in their computers. 

Jeb, remember well: inspiring fear in our enemies is not why we fight the good fight. Don't let this fuel your own fear and suggest strengthening current entities and programs that only diminish our rights at home.