By most accounts, this was not a good week for America. On Thursday evening, our political process hit an all-time low. Many of us in the national security and foreign policy community are deeply concerned that one candidate in particular, if elected, has the potential to catapult us into a future lacking in sound judgment, moral leadership, and, well, basic competency to run a functioning government in a complex world.
Recent times have not been much better for many other parts of the world (please, watch this video to see what has become of Syria's former third-largest city.)
But, much like last summer, there is hope. And it's not found on a bumper sticker. No, this hope—hope for American innovation, determination and pure class—arrived in a capsule that parachuted to earth in the form of Commander Scott Kelly (and his colleague in space, cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko).
Many Lawfare readers are currently in public service, or have spent a large portion of their adult lives in public service. Commander Kelly's reflections on why he does what he does, will resonate. As relayed by the Washington Post, he described his motivation this way:
"[D]oing something difficult, and being fulfilled when it's a success."
"It's like why I wanted to be a [Navy] pilot and land on aircraft carriers - because I knew it was hard, there were risks, and it was important and, therefore for me, rewarding."
Welcome home, @StationCDRKelly. We are a better country with you back among us. We are even better for your sacrifice.