Political instability around the world has resulted in increased tensions, terrorism and open warfare. The ongoing conflicts in the Middle East clearly illustrate the price of freedom, democracy and free enterprise. Conditions there have had dramatic effects on our economy and have influenced our country’s long-range military plans and diplomatic strategies.
Now is not the time to be cutting off funding for major defense programs such as missile defense and space, as we will lose our military position as the greatest superpower in the world.
America’s military is being weakened from overuse and under funding. If we stay on this path, we could see America become as weak as it was under President Carter. The world today is a dangerous place for Americans and for freedom everywhere. If we close our eyes, we could see a strong Islamic-fascist terrorist network take over more countries in the Middle East and once again threaten us here at home. The terrorists have stated that they intend to build a totalitarian Islamic empire that will encircle all current and former Muslim lands from Europe to North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Our security interests around the world have been instrumental in developing our diplomatic, economic, informational and military strategies since the birth of our Nation. President Ronald Reagan put it best when he stated, “Stop apologizing for America’s legitimate national interests and start asserting them.”
Listed below are areas (including but not limited to) that the government, with the support of its citizens, has the opportunity to improve on. In general, the challenge is to achieve the optimal balance between competing resources.
- Protect our country first and foremost, and protect our Constitution
- Govern from a position of strength not weakness and focus on policy decisions that will best protect America
- Maintain military strength capable of dissuading, deterring, and defeating adversaries
- Keep the sacred trust to the backbone of our military strength – our Nation’s all-volunteer force
- Maintain a strong defense budget that includes funding for both weapon systems and personnel
- Provide a strong military health care system and retirement benefit to ensure continued recruitment and retention of military personnel
- Maintain a strong missile defense and a strong arms control agenda
- Invest in air and sea mobility assets needed to respond to threats
- Achieve greater deficit reduction without putting our national security at risk
- Support our intelligence agencies and strengthen interagency partnerships
- Revamp Homeland Security
- Protect our Nation from evolving threats to include piracy, nuclear and modern weapon proliferation
- Protect our Nation’s information network from cyber attacks
- Protect our Nation’s electronic infrastructure against electromagnetic pulse weapons (EMP)
- Control and secure our borders
- Enforce immigration laws and reform Visa policies
- Understand and embrace globalization
- Increase public awareness of human rights abuses by terrorist regimes
- Impose and enforce stronger sanctions
- Protect U.S. interests in geo-politically critical regions
- Marshall economic and diplomatic power to facilitate/compel international co-operation
- Improve America’s technology base
- Achieve energy security
- Increase awareness of the power of the internet to disseminate information
- Implement Civil Defense and Emergency Preparedness
Military Strength: While China has expanded its navy and in fact since 1995 has added dozens of submarines, our submarine fleet has been reduced to 53 and current projections are that we will only have 41 submarines in 2028. We must reverse this decline so that the U.S. will continue to maintain superiority in the Pacific and protect our interests and support our allies.
The U.S. Coast Guard’s missions affect our maritime and border security, but their fleet is old and needs to be modernized for our national security.
There is a good chance the next World War will not be fought on the battlefield, but will be an economic / educational war. The way our government is being run today is causing our military to be more dependent on other nations. We are outsourcing jobs, becoming virtually dependent on foreign oil and we are now dependent on other countries to lend us money.
Defense Budget / Spending: The U.S. is now spending 16 cents of every federal dollar and 4.7% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to 52 cents of every dollar and 89.5% of GDP during the Administration of President Kennedy.
National Security Policy: President Ronald Reagan governed from a position of strength not weakness. He showed our military might, and the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War ended.
Denying America’s exceptionalism has spread through our national security policy and many in the Obama administration believe that America should never lead alone and must accept the will of others. America is the greatest economic and military superpower the world has ever known. Throughout our country’s history America has led because we can and because we must! We are the most giving and compassionate nation.
Electromagnetic Pulse Weapons (EMP): Congress must address the dangers of electromagnetic pulse weapons (EMP) that can be triggered by detonating a nuclear weapon at high altitude over the earth creating an electromagnetic field that would radiate down resulting in electrical currents that would cause widespread damage to electrical systems.
Damaged systems could cause failures in our banking, energy, transportation systems, emergency services and perhaps cyberspace. Our country could be operating before the industrial revolution if this happened.
Oil Dependency: In 1985 20% of America’s oil came from overseas, and today that number has soared to approximately 60% even though satellites, global positioning systems, remote sensing devices now make it possible to discover oil resources.
Politicians refuse to drill for Alaska’s oil with its hundreds of billions of dollars in federal oil tax royalties that would be generated with ANWR exploration. At $70 a barrel it is estimated that ANWR’s oil alone is worth $728 billion dollars. At $100 a barrel of oil, the federal Energy Information Administration has predicted that from 2014 on ANWR oil would surpass a trillion dollar value in savings for our country.
Looking to the future of Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell signed legislation March 2010 opening Virginia’s 2.9 million acre OCS to oil and gas drilling with the goal of making Virginia the energy capital of the east coast.
Drill now! For every barrel of oil America produces that is one barrel less we have to buy from foreign countries. The law of supply and demand affects every American. When something is plentiful, prices go down. When it is scarce, prices go up.
Americans understand the big picture that developing domestic sources of oil and natural gas is critical to our energy future. Not only will energy independence strengthen our national security but developing our own vast oil and natural gas resources will create good-paying jobs and increase tax revenues and thereby move our economy forward.
NASA: The Obama administration’s 2011 budget killed the U.S. manned space program we have dominated for almost fifty years since the “New Frontier” was launched. Now we will no longer have a shuttle and will have to depend on our agreement with Russia to ferry our astronauts!
Closing down NASA illustrates the marked differences in ideology between administrations. For 200 years American innovation has been part of our national identity. From the electric light bulb to Henry Ford’s assembly line that changed industry, to the Wright Brothers’ first flight to landing a man on the moon, Americans enjoy the highest standard of living in the world because of our determination, dreams, science and technology. Fifty years ago America opened the “New Frontier.” Our space program required both lighter and ultra reliable systems that in turn led to our giant advances in microelectronics. Not only did our space program help unlock the secrets of the universe, it has been responsible for American scientific and technological developments in medicine, wireless communications and computing among others. America needs visionaries now!
Environment: Environmentalists have been successful for too many years in preventing the U.S. from drilling for oil, which would make us energy independent, by using the old arguments of air pollution, damaging the land and the wildlife. Congress should step out of the way and let the U.S. oil and natural gas industry produce the energy America needs.
Global Warming: At the heart of global warming / climate-gate is a very dangerous part of the UN – a world order of taking from the developed nations and giving to the undeveloped nations. It is ludicrous that environmentalists will not allow our country to drill for oil, build more facilities or power plants as what we are doing if funding foreign governments some of whom don’t even like us.
It is imperative that Congress recognize government should not pick winners and losers in energy production. The federal government must realize the importance to our national security of having U.S. energy production in the global marketplace.
Immigration: Every nation has the right, recognized by both international and domestic law, to secure its borders and ports of entry and thereby control the goods and persons coming into its territory. Americans have always been and remain a generous people, but that does not mitigate the duty imposed on the U.S. government to know who is entering, to set the term and conditions of entry and exit, and to control that entry and exit through fair and just means.
A disorganized and chaotic immigration system encourages the circumvention of immigration laws and is a clear invitation to those who wish to take advantage of our openness to harm this nation. Secure borders, especially since the events of September 11, 2001, are crucial to American national security.
The United States is a sovereign nation. The very idea of sovereignty implies that each nation has the responsibility and obligation to determine its own conditions for immigration, naturalization and citizenship. Congress should step back from the politics and policies of the moment and take the time to deliberate and develop a clear, comprehensive, meaningful and long-term policy that is consistent with the core principles, best traditions and highest ideals of the United States.