Since the NSA stopped collecting metadata about telephone calls on Sunday, May 31, 2015 (or was ordered to stop, anyway… with this government, you never really know), many have declared that we are a less safe nation today.
And this is true; we ARE a less safe nation today. But as usual, both the answer and the foundation for it are largely misunderstood, in a nation in which a biased press refuses to tell the whole story, and a disinterested public refuses to study the issues until the third presidential debate rolls around every four years.
To answer the question – whether or not we have indeed taken a step backward in safety – requires a two part answer. There is a short-term view, but there is also a long-term view, because safety isn’t about one single tool in the toolkit of our military; it’s about the big picture, a combination of foreign policy, immigration policy, and almost everything else a government does.