Top 5 National Security Moments You Didn’t Hear About in 2012

1. U.S. and ally intelligence agencies break up plot to bomb airliner.


This May, the U.S. and its international partners prevented a plan to detonate an explosive device on a passenger plane. According to CNN, “A nonmetallic explosive device like the one used in the failed attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound jet in 2009 was recovered, the official said, adding that it was meant for use by a suicide bomber.”

2. Obama wins half of veteran and military family vote in Virginia.


Virginia has the second-largest active duty military population and seventh-largest veterans population in the country. By pulling in nearly 50% of this key constituency, the President showed that his national security record has earned the respect of America’s servicemembers. According to one veteran, Truman Fellow Jonathan Morgenstein, “Democrats today — personified by President Obama — are viewed as at least as strong as their Republican counterparts, even within the military community.”

3. Cybersecurity (finally) gets in the spotlight.


Cyberwar is an emergent threat to America. Fortunately, the White House is taking steps to tackle it. Today, our critical infrastructure can be destroyed through cyber attack: power plants, hospitals, even stoplights. Last year alone, cyber breaches cost U.S. companies about $100 billion. President Obama is working hard to tackle cyber threats, and is reportedly working on an Executive Order that will shore up America’s cybersecurity.

4. Obama visits Myanmar, pushes for democracy.


President Obama became the first sitting President to make an official visit to Myanmar. Pressured by economic sanctions imposed by the White House, the Burmese government has taken landmark steps toward democratic reforms. Obama met with the President and Prime Minister, as well as Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.

5. U.S. Commandos successfully execute high-risk rescue of Somali hostages — during the State of the Union address.


As President Obama delivered his most recent State of the Union, two dozen Navy seals swooped into Somalia and saved two hostages who had been held captive for months. On his way into the address, Obama grasped Secretary of Defense Leon, saying, “Leon, good job tonight. Good job tonight.”

This article originally appeared on the Truman Doctrine blog.

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Daniel Gaynor

Daniel Gaynor is an international affairs writer based in Washington, DC and a Partner at Sweat to Solutions, an international non-profit consultancy. Previously, he served as the Editorial Chief at the Truman Project and Center for National Policy, where he wrote speeches, Congressional Testimonies, opinion pieces, policy articles and blog posts. He is the founding editor the Truman Doctrine blog, where he managed more than 100 experts writing on national security and foreign policy issues. Before joining the Truman Project, Gaynor was a Fellow at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation. He has consulted for the International Rescue Committee, as well as the National Endowment for Democracy’s Center for International Media Assistance on the state of media in Afghanistan. Daniel's work has been published in CNN, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Hill, The Diplomat Magazine and more. Gaynor holds a BA (Honors) in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis and a Masters Degree (Distinction) from the London School of Economics.

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