By Caroline Guy, TWC Media Intern from Baldwin Wallace University
“The world today is not more dangerous than it has been.”
Tell this to any American and they will most likely disagree with you. Especially when this statement is the follow-up to a corny joke.
But according to Lawrence Korb, senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and lover of jokes, there is not more danger than before, but more news circulation of such threats. Korb spoke on Thursday to students at The Washington Center’s Inauguration ‘17 seminar.
Before the 24-hour news cycle, global events could stay hidden. Korb gave examples of presidents who would leave press events due to “illness,” when in actuality it was due to a national security crisis. And the country never knew.
Now we have 24/7 coverage of events going on around the world whether they are relevant or not.
This bold analysis of our nation’s security was met with quizzical looks from Inauguration Seminar students which prompted Korb to explain.
The number one threat to the United States, in Korb’s opinion? Russia.
Number two? China.
ISIS appears at number five.
After stating the top five threats to the United States — Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and ISIS — Korb explained his position. He pulled information from research and his own experiences ranging from military, academic and think-tank positions to conclude that nuclear weapons, economics and geography determined where America’s greatest dangers were found.
While this might be overwhelming to people who do not study international relations, Korb was successful in putting everything into layman’s terms so the students who come from all backgrounds and fields of studies could understand. That connection became evident when students asked questions about how to end the Korean conflict, improve Trump’s relations with NATO, defeat ISIS and combating cyber warfare.
The complexity of questions spoke to the intelligence of the students and the depth of the speaker’s background.
After an hour of talk about warfare, rocky relationships with unstable countries and ongoing conflicts, Korb brought some words of comfort in his signature direct style: “Let’s not overreact and think it’s Armageddon.”
There will always be danger in the world, Korb said. It is important to go on with life and not let the fears of nuclear weapons or war lead Americans to live a fearful life. But we need to “be aware,” he said. Like many other speakers at this seminar, Korb told the students to be informed and stay involved. Whether it be writing to representative or joining an organization, citizens need to engage in their country and its politics and “do something bigger than yourselves”.