It is neither good nor healthy to live in a constant state of anxiety. But that is what is happening to all of us who pay attention to what is happening around us. The world is increasingly dangerous. Our new president promised a much tougher line on homeland security and national defense, and he is delivering.

The question is, is that a good thing? Does it make us feel better, or more afraid?

As world events unfold it becomes obvious that we will each soon be tested. The question will become do we support specific pre-emptive strikes and/or defensive reactions when the time comes?

President Donald Trump has judiciously placed our safety in the hands of an array of experienced and successful generals and other military experts. Our foreign policy is the most serious and important challenge of the new administration. However, we must remember that when events eventually unfold, it is the Congress that will be called upon for approval and the American people will be needed to provide support. So we must make ourselves aware of the threats against us and be prepared to sign off on the president’s actions. We must not tune out the news; instead, we need to educate ourselves on the threats against us and decide what polices we will support.

Most agree that the most important phase of current military posture is now upon us. President Trump and his foreign policy team must present a comprehensive and coherent plan replete with significant details. Are we ready to address every possible situation? Is it generally agreed that protection of our homeland against Islamic State terrorism is goal No. 1?

Trump gets high marks on this one by his actions in dropping the MOAB (mother of all bombs) on the caves of Afghanistan. Trump’s response to the use of chemical weapons by Syria’s inhuman dictator Assad against his own people was greeted with worldwide approval. The U.S. fired cruise missiles into the airfield from which the chemical attacks upon innocent Syrian children and women were launched. Our attack was heralded as a response of outrage against the barbarous crime against humanity. So far, so good. Trump has shown the world that the new U.S. president will act when called for. This has provided reassurance to our allies in a world in turmoil.

Now comes the tough part. Will the American people have the courage to support even harsher measures if called for? I believe the answer is an unequivocal yes. We pray that Trump’s show of strength and resolve will prevent a worst-case scenario from occurring. The greatest threat may be North Korea’s drive for nuclear weapons capable of reaching the U.S.

We must be willing to shoot down future nuclear weapons tests by this unstable regime and its ruler. Our greatest hope is that China is serious about working with us to convince the North Korean dictator that to threaten the U.S. with a nuclear strike would be suicide for North Korea and its people. Therefore, we must be prepared to support our president should a pre-emptive strike against a nuclear missile being tested becomes necessary.

For eight years, under our previous president, the world and our allies witnessed the loss of respect for our country and began to believe that we might no longer be willing to defend freedom throughout the world with the strongest military on earth. Our military and its effectiveness have shrunk, our people are divided, and our enemies fear us much less.

Here in America, the biggest test of all may be coming, and as it always has been, it involves the will of the American people. Russia, Syria and Iran stand against us. The free world prays that we will once again become the hope of the future. Our closest allies are ready to coalesce around any new show of strength and resolve from the U.S.A.

None of us want war. We want nothing more than to live in peace and to be left alone, our way of life not threatened.

But reality from the ages has proven that is unfortunately not possible. So we must reach deep within ourselves again to be prepared to protect and defend that which we all hold so dear.

In times of great anxiety we always perform at our best. We owe each other, our children, and all those who have given this country the full measure of their devotion, nothing less than a determined defense and the undivided support from the people of the greatest country on earth. God bless the U.S.A.

Don Roberts is a veteran broadcaster, writer and political consultant. He has served Augusta as a city councilor at-large, charter commission vice chairman and utilities district treasurer.

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