As we approach Election Day, regardless of the outcome, the business community awaits the economic and political change that is sure to come. We are fortunate that our nation’s commercial sector is profoundly diverse and has the ability to adapt to changing environments, while maintaining focus on its core business. While this adaptability will remain paramount, companies must continue to invest in security as a priority despite the environment of economic instability. At a time when many companies are focused on what the change in administration will mean to their economic endeavors, the need for vigilance should remain a primary corporate concern.
In the current financial crisis, companies are being advised to stay focused, cut spending and build reserves to survive the economic uncertainties of the near and likely mid- term. In addition to the economic turmoil, we are witnessing one of the most interesting times in political history, bringing with it tremendous hope and anticipation for leadership to guide our country out of its current state – regardless of who is elected. But it will take time to get this country on the right path again and while the new administration is focused on the enormity of that task, it must take careful steps not to lose sight of other equally important priorities – keeping the nation secure from terrorist attack. Over the past twenty years around the world, terrorist organizations have taken advantage of the disorientation of new and changing political administrations by conducting targeted and at times, spectacular attacks. We need to maintain vigilance against this threat – Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups have not diminished in their will, intent to cause great disruption and economic harm, nor capabilities, despite the tremendous and successful efforts of our women and men working around the globe to interdict and disrupt terrorist plans. Our nation is understandably focused on this election because of its importance and its historic nature. Businesses are conserving their scarce financial resources that might be used to better protect infrastructure. The administration and the Congress are working to stem the downward spiral of the economy. Federal agencies, while working hard on the security and law enforcement mission to protect us from attack, are preparing for transition.
This nation is better and bigger than whoever we elect to lead it – we engage in political change every two years and leadership every four with the only constant being change itself. As important as this election is, we cannot give the terrorists the opportunity nor the advantage of the right moment to perpetrate the next attack. We, as citizens and business leaders, cannot lose our focus on protecting what is most dear to us and give them that advantage.