Feeling like the wolves are surrounding us



As a kid I think one of my biggest fears was the threat of nuclear war. I grew up during the Cold War era and reached adulthood not long before the fall of Communism in the former Soviet Union. After the Berlin Wall fell, my fears were put at ease.

But since then there have been conflicts, almost constant, with our nation’s involvement in the Gulf War, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Through it all we prevailed, or so it seemed, though the loss of life has been substantial.

We have contained the threats to our nation, with our brave soldiers on the front lines and efforts at home to keep the population safe. But the threats to this country are many and they are waiting for us to lower our guard.

As I see it, we have three major threats facing this country from outside our borders. The biggest threat, I think, is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — also known as ISIS. Having read their “manifesto” it is clear they are bold, ruthless, vicious killers who will stop at nothing to destroy us. They behead prisoners, even setting one Jordanian fighter pilot on fire in a cage as a form of execution. We think we are safe here, but as was evidenced by the ISIS fueled terror attacks in Paris a couple months ago, it only takes a handful of their followers to take lives and cause havoc.

The next threat I see is North Korea. Their leader, Kim Jong-Un, is unstable and he has nuclear weapons. Not a great combination. Kim has threatened this country repeatedly, displayed the ability of his forces to carry out cyber-attacks with his hacker strike on Sony Entertainment. He is also getting closer to developing missiles with the range needed to deliver nuclear weapons to our shores. This is one of the greatest dangers to the U.S. I see.

That brings me to the third threat, which I think is Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Unlike Kim, Putin is more shrewd, more calculated and if he ever makes a move against us, it will happen when we least expect it, or when we are distracted by some other crisis. Putin hates the U.S. for the role it played in binging down the Soviet Union and he holds nothing but disdain for our support of the Ukraine. A move by Putin would come as a surprise and he might align himself with some other enemy of ours to strengthen his resolve. The recent murder of his most vocal opponent in Moscow makes his plans for restoring the Soviet Union seem even more likely.

I’m not trying to sound paranoid or like a conspiracy theorist, but I do hope the people of the U.S. and our leaders are at least considering these threats we are facing.

I want peace of mind to know we haven’t become too laid back and complacent as the wolves circle our camp and look for their opportunity to make a move. ggould@mihomepaper.com

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