NATIONALISM IN THE CONTEXT OF NATIONAL SECURITY
In the human body, certain bacteria live in the intestines aiding the digestion of food. At the same time, the bacteria benefit from the food that the human provides. Hence, while the bacteria have certain roles to play in ensuring food digestion, humans as well have a role to play in providing their food for them not to die. This can be seen to be the nexus between nationalism and national security because, while nationalism, which is the pride that people take in their nation, has a role to play in ensuring national security, national security also has a role to play in making sure the spirit of nationalism does not die.
First, According to a 2011 article titled Nationalism Rules, nationalism facilitated the defeat of the French and the American armies by the Vietnamese during the Cold War. This was made possible because nationalism as an attribute brings about the unity of purpose amongst citizens of a nation and with unity, national security is guaranteed because without internal collaborators, there can never be external conspirators. So, while the execution of national security is the responsibility of the Government, what nationalism ensures is that citizens remain committed in buttressing the efforts of the government as the blend between the government’s effort and the citizens’ loyalty brings about effective national security.
However, when nationalism is taken to the extreme, there are tendencies that the nation will be exposed to insecurity because when citizens take pride in the nation to a point where they exhibit intolerance to foreign presence, they invoke the demons of insecurity on their land. A clear example is the case of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Just four days ago, reports by Aljazeera news confirmed that close to 189 foreigners were arrested and close to 10 lives were wasted. Even more saddening is the Nigerians living over there agitating for a thunderous attack by Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgents to equally attack the South Africans. This goes to show that if the fire burning in our hearts for our country is not curtailed, we might end up burning down ourselves and our country.
Furthermore, Corruption constitutes a threat to national security as it makes the citizens lose interest in their country. When the funds earmarked for Security is diverted to few pockets, the nation is exposed to insecurity as the armed men are no longer armed but harmed by terrorist. All these in coronary leave an impression of fear, mistrust and disbelief in the mind of the citizens against their nation.
Finally, in medical practice, when a person is diagnosed with Gastroenteritis, a term for food poisoning caused by bacteria infection, certain amounts of bacteria are used to produce antibiotics, vaccines. So, while bacteria are in a way detrimental to human health, they are in some way beneficial in the restoration of man’s health. So is the relationship between nationalism and national security. That is, while bacteria can be acclaimed as nationalism, human health can be proclaimed to be national security.