After WWll, there were huge amounts of tension between the United States and its former allies the Soviet Union, which today is known as the Cold War. The United States used a nuclear bomb to end the war with Japan, which set off an arms race with the Soviet Union. The United States needed to keep its interests safe and secret. This was due to the “National security state” and the “Cultures of secrecy.” The “National security states” was explained as the military, intelligence, and security agencies having control over the government to protect the citizens from disaster. One example of the government using its power to control was the creation of Nuclear testing sites in Nevada and Utah. In these locations, the government was testing and developing nuclear weapons on United States soil.
These facilities were very well protected and kept secrete from everyone to keep this new research from the public. Many cities had to deal with the immediate effects of these tests. One of the most famous cities that had to deal with the effects of these tests was St George, Utah. The town was located 135 Miles from the test site. This still wasn’t far enough because due to shifting winds, debris from the test site traveled and exposed the citizens to over 100 times as much radiation as a normal American would experience. There were many effects felt by the people of tones like these. Some examples of the effects of these tests were the death of livestock, exposure to radiation, etcetera. Radiation causes many different types of cancers and diseases. When the citizens asked the government about what was happening to them, they were told nothing.
The government was able to keep this information secret due to the ”Cultures of secrecy”. The “Culture of secrecy” is defined as the government prioritizing keeping confidential information from American cities. This secrecy wasn’t just used to keep the testing of nuclear development, but many other different things. Giving different organizations weapons/supplies to overthrow governments, and assassinations of different government officials are just some examples of what the United States movement did under the “cultures of secrecy”.
I do believe that the “National security state” still exists to this day. Even though we don’t have any real threat of nuclear war with any nation right now —knock on wood— there are many different agencies and branches of government created to protect our nation from threats. The Coast Guard, the space force which is a branch of the Air Force, and the National Guard are all agencies created to protect citizens from any kind of attack from foreign nations. There have been many different events in our history that have stricken the importance of national security. The most famous one was the attacks of 9/11, which completely changed how the United States saw security. One of the most recent events that have affected the nation’s security was the Chinese spy balloon that was traveling across America. This has sparked another huge talk about the security of the nation.