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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Bush School hosts lecture on national security

Former+U.S.+Secretary+of+Homeland+Security+Tom+Ridge+spoke+about+the+future+of+national+security+Tuesday+in+the+Annenberg+Presidential+Center.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge spoke about the future of national security Tuesday in the Annenberg Presidential Center. 

On Tuesday evening, Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Homeland Security under the George W. Bush administration and former governor of Pennsyvania, visited the Bush School to discuss national security.
His lecture, “What’s Next for National Security?,” part of the George H.W. Bush Foundation Distinguished Lecture Series, focused on modern national security challenges and highlighted possible solutions to those problems. The event was held at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center and was moderated by the Dean of the Bush School, Mark Welsh.
As the event began, U.S. Senator for Utah Orrin Hatch gave a brief address to the audience via video. He called on those in attendance to use their strengths for the nation’s benefit.
“Threats against our great nation will always exist,” Hatch said. “The name of the threat may change, but there will always be people in this world who want to destroy our country and its people. I encourage all of you to continue investing in your professional development. Continue preparing to serve our collective security.”
Ridge began his lecture by explaining that national security risks have evolved throughout his lifetime.
“The threat is so much more complex in this world than when I was a soldier in Vietnam,” Ridge said. “Then, there was a triad — air, land and sea. Since that time, you can add space and the cyber world.”
On all regions and issues he discussed, Ridge said that the United States and its allies should lead the change.
“I think it is important for us to engage,” Ridge said. “I think that America is stronger when it can act together with others.”
The topic of cyber security was discussed, and Ridge explained why it is such a major issue.
“It’s the fifth dimension of war and it goes on everyday,” Ridge said. “We know who the actors are. The challenge in cyber warfare is pretty simple, in my opinion. We can, with greater accuracy everyday, attribute where an attack originated. But, with even the most accurate attribution, what’s our response? How do we hold those actors accountable? Is anyone willing to say that’s an act of war?”
Lori Taylor, director of the Robert A. Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics and Public Policy at the Bush School, said why she believes this event was extremely important.
“We’re so excited and grateful to get this chance to hear from Governor Ridge, because he is at the core of the issues of national security and homeland security,” Taylor said. “I think that it is very important to be informed about the policy issues of our time and national security, in this day and age, is a particularly important issue.”
Samantha Brittain, international studies junior, said that the lecture was eye-opening, and inspired her to stay informed on these issues.
“I love coming to these events because you get to hear from people who know so much about what they’re talking about,” Brittain said. “They’ve actually been to these countries, so they have that firsthand experience.”
While Ridge presented the national security challenges at hand, he said that he did not want to inspire fear, but rather motivation.
“All these risks are real, but they are manageable,” Ridge said. “I’m a believer in the United States. We identify a risk, figure out a way to tackle it and we tackle it.”

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