Former United States Senator Jim Talent holds two high-profile positions on evaluating our nation’s defense and he tells the Missourinet that while they might look different, they are very much related.

Even as former Senator Jim Talent, a Republican, serves as vice chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, he serves on the independent panel evaluating the Defense Department’s review of US military might. Talent says that while Defense works to win in Afghanistan and prepare for possible conflicts with countries such as North Korea, it cannot overlook terrorist cells which don’t respect borders, presenting a different type of foe.

“It is a war, though. I mean, this is not some kind of criminal syndicate. These people are organized to engage in a very high-level conflict with us,” Talent tells the Missourinet. “So that is something the (Defense) Department has to deal with at the same time as it’s dealing with rogue nation-states like North Korea and high-end powers like China.”

In both roles, Talent is pushing preparation prior to outright conflict, which he understands can be a difficult sell.

“This is the way to prevent all these flash points from becoming infernos and we need to do it now, while we have time,” according to Talent.

Talent served on both the House and Senate Armed Services Committee during his time in Congress.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:60 MP3]