Kevin Drum reprints an extraordinary speech from Al Gore in 2002 that makes, among many others, the point I tried to make here.

He says:

We must also expand our idea of what constitutes a threat to our security in the long run, and be prepared to confront and deal with these things, too. It is time to accept that massive environmental disorder including global warming is literally a threat to international peace and stability. We must finally develop alternatives to mid-eastern oil, internal combustion engines, inefficient boilers and the inertia that has paralyzed needed efforts at conservation.

HIV/AIDS is a national security threat. It is now the most deadly pandemic in the history of the world. U.S. leadership is needed.

We must acknowledge that the utter poverty of hundreds of millions of people is not a matter for compassion only, but a threat in the long term to the growth and vigor of the global economic system. We must see it as a part of our charge to help create economic opportunity so that the gap between the richest and poorest does not grow ever wider.

Not every security threat has a human face; not every threat is external.