National security state is the United States government’s use of bureaucracies to investigate possible threats or enemies of the United States and then report back to the U.S. government. These bureaucracies were fueled behind the intent of protecting the United States from threats to national security that were continually growing behind the fear of communism. National security state instituted the support of scientific and social research for the purpose of “fighting against” what was deemed a threat to national security. Military power became almighty in terms of political power and the government was entrusted to do what was right on behalf of the people, while not telling the people what was going on. Cultures of secrecy was the culture created within the United States as a result of the lack of knowledge given to citizens. Actions of the government were expected to be kept secret in order to “protect the people” from the threats of outside countries or potential threats from within. The majority of secrecy was hidden in terms of military weapons, plans to overthrow other governments, and policy change.
National security state can be seen in rural Nevada/Utah with the use of rural lands being used for nuclear bomb testing. Nuclear testing was done in rural places in Nevada/Utah to provide a secret and “safe” place to test the reactions of nuclear bombs and see its aftereffects. The purpose of the testing was to try and build up nuclear weapons during the Cold War for the United States to be prepared in case of nuclear war with communist nations. The government was able to get away with harming an entire community behind the defense of fighting against the threat of communism. Citizens did not want to stand up to the government even though they knew they were being harmed and lied to by the U.S. government, in fear of being labeled as un-loyal to the U.S. and its efforts to fight communism. The national security state does still exist today even though the Cold War ended 20 plus years ago. The government still prioritizes military power behind the purpose of protecting against threats to national security. The main example of this is the U.S.’s continual buildup of the military and military weapons in order to fight the war on terrorism and conflicts in the Middle East. People choose not to question the choices of the government because the government’s actions are said to be done to fight for the protection of the U.S. and its citizens.
To me, a national security state leads to cultures of secrecy. The more the U.S. did to create programs and military projects and hide them for their purpose, the more blind trust the citizens are expected to give. Blind trust eventually leads to weariness and suspicion when the government is not honest with their citizens. When citizens start to go against the government, especially in high-stakes situations like the Cold-War, the government starts to retaliate against its own citizens.
One thought on “Week 2 Post”
I definitely agree that a national security state leads to cultures of secrecy. The national security state grew from the need for security during the Cold War. Suspicions during the Cold War created an environment and culture of secrecy in the United States. I also agree the government asking for blind trust leads to suspicion from citizens. It is fascinating that the government could get away with as much as it could in Nevada and Utah. The United States military can get away with an insane amount, and the government will continue prioritizing the military. Also, I think there is a national security state still exists.