Let me tell you a story. My father Keith Lowell Dalton was a radar operator in Okinawa, Japan during World War II. He was part of an occupation troop sent to Hiroshima shortly after we dropped the bomb. This experience forever changed him. He may not have had scares on the outside, but the ones on the inside were so deep I can honestly say he suffered more than any one man had a right to suffer. When I’d press him for details about the war he’d say, “Susan, there were two types of men who came back from seeing what I did…those who killed themselves…and those who drank. Me, I chose to drink.” Having to grow up under the devastating impact this experience had on my father I couldn’t help but want to understand “Why Nations Go to War.” Much like a doctor studies medicine to cure disease; I studied warfare. I’m not naive enough to believe we’ll find a cure, but I do believe we can reduce possibilities and the consequences of conflict.

Truly there is Peace in Strength. It’s been my privilege to serve the United States government during a period of transition in the geopolitical landscape. When I first started my career with the government we were testing nuclear weapons beneath the surface of the Nevada desert. We were in direct competition with the former Soviet Union to build bigger and better bombs. Thank God, since the end of World War II, we have not had to use one. By the time I left we were looking for ways to clean up the legacy left behind by the previous generation’s production of weapons of mass destruction.

I remember years ago engaging in a debate with a wonderful man about the reason the former Soviet Union collapsed. It was his opinion that Chernobyl was the final straw in a long series of events that brought about the demise of the Soviet Union. I, on the other hand, saw it from a different perspective. I believed then and still do believe the Soviet Union collapsed when the sum total of the people, of the people in the know, lost faith in their system of government. We simply can’t afford to lose faith in our system of government. I have faith in McCain’s abilities to guide this nation with wisdom, insight, and compassion. I have faith in Palin’s ability to bring a new light to the job at hand.

This brings me to the concerns I have about the dynamic and often time competing forces at work behind the scenes in our country. We can’t afford to see what would happen to the global geopolitical landscape if John McCain and Sarah Palin are not there to lead this nation. National Security issues are complex, dangerous, and seldom come with a thank you from anyone. The cost of a mistake is unfathomable. The reward for a job well done is simply a comfortable continuation of the status quo. There’re so many people in service to this country who never see the light of day, whose work goes on without notice, whose devotion is unwavering. To all of those in service to this great nation I say Thank You. God Bless You. Your contributions do make a difference.