Events of the past month remind us that Americans live in an inter-connected world, where conflicts, threats, events and competition for resources have immediate impact on our daily lives. Oceans and distances no longer insulate America from the tensions and strife now confronting large portions of the world’s populations. With technology and communications able to connect and motivate large populations at the speed of social networks, no government or economy is immune to unexpected disruption.
It will happen here. We have created a ‘just-in-time’ civilization with expectations of instant availability made possible by market and transportation efficiencies – the same expectations that drive what’s expected of and from government. Unfortunately, today’s model of government is built on a federal partner to provide services, money and protection to everyone, everywhere, all the time. It is an unrealistic and unworkable policy concept, and is partially responsible for the massive federal debt and unfunded state mandates that are bringing America to the edge of bankruptcy.
State security is essential to our national resiliency, particularly during a large-scale crisis. It is time for a new partnership between the local, state and federal governments to restore the rightful obligations of each in a federal system as envisioned by our Founders. States must have authority to protect their borders, to balance and grow their budgets, provide for the general protection and welfare of their citizens through state compacts, in partnership with the federal government, to fill gaps, create new capacities and leverage local capabilities not yet harnessed.
The Secure States Initiative will help state and local governments develop ways in which they can build our national resiliency to weather the challenges that are coming to our shores and borders. A new spirit of partnership between government, citizens and our institutions will go farther in helping secure our national future than the current failed approach. I encourage you to participate and reach out to others to help build a new compact for secure borders, secure budgets and secure state authority.