There have been a number of leaders who have stepped up to tell people the real risks we are facing as a nation.
They are not playing politics–they have left the arena.
And as we know, it is much easier to be rosy and optimistic–let’s face it, this is what people want to hear.
But these leaders–national heros–sacrifice themselves to provide us an unpopular message, at their own reputational risk.
That message is that poor leadership and decision-making in the past is threatening our present and future.
Earlier this week (15 May 2011), I blogged about a documentary called I.O.U.S.A. with David Walker, the former Comptroller General of the United States for 10 years!
Walker was the head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO)–the investigative arm of Congress itself, and has testified before them and toured the country warning of the dire fiscal situation confronting us from our proclivity to spend future generation’s money today–the spiraling national deficit.
Today, I read again in Fortune (21 May 2012) an interview with another national hero, former Admiral Mike Mullen, who was chairmen of the Joint Chiefs (2007-2011).
Mullen warns bluntly of a number of “existential threats” to the United States–nukes (which he feels is more or less “under control”), cyber security, and the state of our national debt.
Similarly, General Keith Alexander, the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the head of the Pentagon’s Cyber Command has warned that DoD networks are not currently defensible and that attackers could disable our networks and critical infrastructure underpinning our national security and economic stability.
To me, these are well-respected individuals who are sending some pretty clear warning signals about cyber security and our national deficit, not to cause panic, but to inspire substantial change in our national character and strategic priorities.
In I.O.U.S.A., after one talk by Walker on his national tour, the video shows that the media does not even cover the event.
We are comfortable for now and the messages coming down risk shaking us from that comfort zone–are we ready to hear what they are saying?
(Source Photo: here with attribution to Vagawi)