Document Type


Publication Date



Collectively we face no greater challenge than maintaining sensible perspectives on national security issues. Central to this task is the need to achieve a tolerable balance between secrecy and openness in public debate on such issues. There are real threats to our nation, and we would be foolish to ignore them; history teaches that no culture is guaranteed survival. Yet, how to respond to such threats must be profoundly controversial. The virtue of liberal society is that it values highly the realization of private preferences; the sacrifice of those desires to attain another's vision of collective security will never be the path chosen by unanimous vote. There will be constant debate. What is worth securing? How real is the threat? How best may the threat be countered? What are the consequences of miscalculation? Each link in the chain is braided with uncertainties, as we venture ultimate stakes at imponderable odds.


Law | Military, War, and Peace | National Security Law