President Donald Trump states that we are waging total war on an “invisible enemy,” COVID-19.

As a military veteran, this talk of war calls me to stand in solidarity with my fellow soldiers: health-care professionals and others in essential capacities from grocery stores to government. Defense and national security take on renewed meaning in this extraordinary time.

More than 80,000 U.S. deaths mark the initial salvo of our invisible enemy. For context, we lost 3,000 on 9/11 and 15,000 lives in the subsequent “War on Terror.”

With half of discretionary spending going to defense, the time has come to reassess the enemies that threaten our way of life. We might embrace an alternative strategy — that of protecting human security. As an orienting principle, human security calls us to consider the existential danger posed by vexing problems like climate change and COVID-19.

True national security lies with its people, and our defense strategy should reflect that. Our humanity hangs in the balance.

Audrey Hudgins, Seattle