Essentiality of critical thinking to national security
Tom Destiny Namwambah
In Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes observes that human beings are naturally self-gratifying and that for any action they undertake, it’s solely on the basis of self-interest and self-serving. That humans are captives of their own desires, appetites and passions is beyond doubt; even those who donate to charity they do so because they derive pleasure and gratification. It is this glaring reality that led Thomas Hobbes to postulate what life would be like without governments, a condition he calls the state of nature. Given the nature of the human beings, he concludes that such a state would lead to "war of all against all" (bellum omnium contra omnes). As such, incessant fear, and danger of violent death occasioned by the prevailing state of insecurity in the state of nature cannot guarantee existence of society. In such a state of perpetual insecurity, he adds, life of human beings is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. In order to escape from the fangs of insecurity prevalent in the state of nature, humans constitute states, and form governments as sanctuaries for security, peace and mutual coexistence. As such, the principle concern of a nation is to guarantee security in all its forms to the citizens. For this to be actualized, it is often assumed that the custodians and overseers of the instruments of national security are the very best breed of society in terms of thinking, projecting, formulating policies, implementing, monitoring and evaluating programs intended to guarantee security and secure the nation; they are expected to be shrewd, cerebral and able to think critically. The validity of this assumption is anybody’s guess. This article examines the concept of national security and the instrumentality of critical thinking in enhancing capacity in the execution of obligations of national security.