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  • Guest Blogger: House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA)

    While Republicans applaud President Obama for bucking the far left of his party on Iraq and Afghanistan policy, we believe that his defense budgets threaten to leave us vulnerable in an increasingly dangerous world.

    If anything is certain in these most uncertain times, it is that threats to the homeland will persist. Consider the recent provocations by North Korea and Iran. Last week the North tested a nuclear weapon and fired off a salvo of missiles. It is also reportedly preparing to test a longer-range missile in the near future. Meanwhile, Iran is defiantly developing the material to build the nuclear bomb. Last month, it brazenly test-fired a surface-to-surface missile with a range of 2,000 km.

    The nuclear and ballistic missile threat from these rogue nations is undeniably growing. Both regimes have shown a willingness to share their illicit technology and know-how with terrorists or other unpleasant regimes. It would be unwise to assume either regime would not pass nukes on to terrorists or anyone else willing to pay.

    So why is the administration conceding Iran has a right to nuclear energy, as if Iran’s nuclear weapons program wouldn’t forfeit that right? Why on earth, as domestic discretionary spending reaches stratospheric heights, is President Obama planning to cut defense spending to a meager 3.5% of GDP in five years, and 3.1% in 10 years? Why, given the expanding nature of the missile threat, is President Obama cutting missile defense by more than $1 billion?

    Much of this funding is for the research and development of vital programs that could pay huge national security dividends down the road. One harmful cut, for example, is to the Airborne Laser program, which could potentially interdict an Iranian missile in its earliest stages of flight. President Obama and his allies say these programs should be defunded because they likely will not be operational in the immediate or near term.

    But the lessons of history show that we cannot turn our backs on R&D funding.

    It wasn’t so long ago that critics railed against funding for unmanned aerial vehicles. They claimed UAVs could never be used in combat. Yet today UAVs play an indispensable role in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have taken out high-level al Qaeda figures, and have been nothing short of a game changer in modern, asymmetric warfare.

    Now is the time for the Administration and Congress to come together to provide for our national defense for both today and tomorrow. Let’s not be caught six years from now regretting we didn’t prepare for the gathering storm of threats on the horizon.

    The views expressed by guest bloggers on the Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    25 Responses to Guest Blogger: House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA)

    1. Roger, Florida says:

      I really wish the Republican party would stop pretending to be conservative with words and show a little spine and propose a trillion in spending cuts.

    2. Pingback: Morning Conservative Reading List - June 5, 2009 - AIP Blog - American Issues Project

    3. John, Atlanta says:

      I certainly agree with Congressmen Cantor about continuing to spend or R&D for the defense of this country. Frankly I am getting very tired of the Democratic mantra of “it will take to long for this XXXXX to be available to help us”.

      Have we not heard this same argument for the last ten years in regards to oil. Don’t drill for oil at ANWR, don’t mine for Shale, don’t drill off shore, it would not be effective for ten year if at all. Not letting oil companies do what they do best is a crime.

      Without the correct tools to defend this country we would have to fall back on just nuking the whole facility or town in Iran.

    4. Brad Raffensperger, says:

      We face many challenges in our nation and Congressman Cantor is dead on about our need for a strong, vibrant defense. It is foolhardy not to implement a strategic missile defense program. Kudos to Congressman Cantor for standing up. The person who stands in the gap will take shots from naysayers, but courage and integrity demands nothing less. Continue to speak out in the hope we can educate people to our real strategic threats. Americans are bright people, but if we don't speak the truth how will they know? Well done, Mr. Congressman.

      Now as to the trillion dollar in spending cuts that Roger in Florida speaks to. Yes, yes, yes. I am with you brother, the problem is not out of control defense spending, it is out of control social spending. Let's take a stand and cut that tree down to size. But that requires self restraint on the part of all of us and our Congress. Let's support small spenders for Congress next time and be serious about it and hold them accountable.

    5. Normca says:

      Jimmy Carter II

    6. Joe Lillard, Lakewoo says:

      I am urging well spoken congressmen and women to speak out daily in national media formats to rail against the insane government spending and the nationalization of private companies. Is it too late to fight back? I'm really worried that this administration is destroying our country from within. Help!

    7. Joe, Woodbridge, VA says:

      This president, his administration, and congress had better wake up to the fact that America is dispised in many parts of the world and there are nations and terrorist cells who are hellbent on speaking of our existence in past tense. I'm glad Obama and his cronies have a crystal ball to know how to protect America, its people, and its allies such as Israel. Must be the same crystal ball that said Germany wouldn't try to take over the world and Japan wouldn't dare attack us during WWII. Pretty soon he'll have us all bowing to Middle East leaders, but it will be in our backyard.

    8. Miriam Diaz - NY says:

      What makes America the one of the greatest countries in the world has been our willingness to defend and protect those who cannot protect themselves. It is as obvious as the nose on my face that Obama wants to weaken this country. Since his presidency, he has NOT spoken highly of this country and what we have done for millions across the globe. How we've liberated so many hurting and oppressed people, provided food, clothing and medical assistance to those in need. The list is endless. Obama doesn't believe in the Constition of the United States or what it stands for…with that in mind, doesn't it make sense that he wants to weaken this country while other regimes become stronger in nuclear defense? Think about it!!!! What makes a country great is their ability to defend themselves.

    9. tim tanis, greenback says:

      I am in agreement with mr cantor, not like some who seem to be waiting for "the day after" to make any decision…..t

    10. Bryan, San Antonio says:

      Right now, the republicans are weakened due to their inability to effectively articulate and practice conservatism. Obama came along at the right time, as the anti-Bush. It's very similar to when Reagan followed Carter. The pendulum will eventually swing back to the right, especially as more folks see through the fog.

      There are tactical and strategic strategies to counter him. One tactical strategy is to continue to praise Obama when he makes conservative-friendly judgments (e.g., no more Gitmo photos, etc.) and oppose him when he pushes a far-left agenda (e.g., govt-run healthcare, more bailouts, etc.). One strategic approach is to groom new conservative leaders, like Eric Cantor. This essay is a great example of both strategies.

      Conservatives and moderates will be repelled by Obama over the next couple of years. Who can unite and strengthen the party, as well as ensure conservatives are ready to compete in future elections? Who is willing and able to fight that uphill battle?

    11. Ross writes, Flori says:

      Representative Cantor, thank you for your position, but I think you are whistling in the wind, if not a gale. Your braying colleagues on the other side of the aisle or should it be isle(that seems to be where there native logic lies).

      The Republicans keep forgetting that simple logic nor commonsense is not in the makeup in too many of these long-eared Masters of Sophistry, nor of their self-centered, shallowed mind, ignorant, pseudo-intellectual idiots who elected them to office.

      Not until the American people suffers a "Missile Pearl Harbor" will anything happen. The question, will it be too late? Also, are the Republicans willing to pay the price to truly warn all the people.

      However it is true, a nuclear ICBM dropping out of the sky and into Washington DC, NYC, LA or SF speaks louder than words…maybe for liberals and …NYC and Washington DC, they've already been attack…if I remember right.

    12. Jonathan, New York says:

      "They claimed UAVs could never be used in combat. Yet today UAVs play an indispensable role in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have taken out high-level al Qaeda figures, and have been nothing short of a game changer in modern, asymmetric warfare."

      maybe this hasnt occured to anyone yet, but just how interested do you think obama is in taking out high level al-Qaeda figures? if anything, he would apologize for americas arrogance in killing these men on the basis of race, and then release a couple of terrorists fromm gitmo for good measure.

    13. John Salt Springs, F says:

      What great comments. Thanks to representatives like Mr. Cantor. We must get a backbone and forget how the left will attack us. As I have have heard from so may others that liberals "cannot win a debate in an arena of ideas" rings true more and more each day. We can make a difference and we have time. Make a change you can believe in in 2010. We need to attack and attack and attack like this administration has pushed, pushed and pushed. I hope all Americans feel they are getting shoved or steam rolled into a corner and ready to fight back intelligently, with gusto, and legally of course. I know I got alittle off subject, but we must defend ourselves and our Country for the ones before us who gave that ultimate sacrifice.

    14. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      With all of his talk and all of his travel, I sure do pray that Obama has been doing it in an effort to find a new Home for himself and his family, because he is surely no American!

      As far as North Korea and Iran and their missles go, just 200 miles off our West Coast and a high altitude Nuculear Blast, one giant EMP (electro magnetic pulse). That would in effect, destroy all communications, travel, electrical output of all kinds and planes would fall from the sky. We couldn't even contact our subs when they rose from under the sea. We couldn't contact our Military Worldwide. We couldn't contact anyone. No parts, no food, no heat, nothing running.

      Only Defence is what is left in Alaska and California from the Clinton Era, and that is not much. It would be months and maybe years before we even knew if we won the War!

      But not to worry, we'll all have plenty of that 'Green Energy' stuff to eat and live on, right?

      Hozro

    15. sansdra barnes,newbu says:

      When are the politicans going to address the usurping of the

      US CONSTITUTION?

      All these CZARS, All the waste of money ,for date night",

      There should be court case here for violating the Constitution.

      This administration is running this government by saying,if its not in the constitution ,We can do it.

      The republicans better get some backbone,and quick..

    16. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      Does anybody know what right wing extremism means? I am afraid the the minority of communist are using this term to demonize the majority of american taxpayers who disagree with this Spread the wealth mentality. Does any of the people at the heritage society care to comment? maybe write a well reseached article with Examples? It seems to me that we must attack this at its base before it gains credibility in the minds of the sheep who are influenced by the media which have an agenda to promote this dangerous termanology.

    17. Gloria, Utah says:

      Thank you, Congressman Cantor. I refuse to give up on our country and her ability to stay strong. However, I don't see the strength coming from our elected official on either side. How do we have our voices heard? Emailing and calling seems to have no affect. We are made fun of if we hit the streets and are actually demeaned by the very man that is suppose to be protecting us. It's like no one takes our concerns seriously. I find it very disheartening that our Government has turned upside down and our rights, jobs and personal income are disappearing at light speed. Our country is being weaked by rhetoric from both parties. Please fight for our conservative values. Time to stop all the moderate nonsense. Moderate and bipartisanship means going to the dark side. Bold colors please!

    18. JORGE MILLER, WASHIN says:

      OBAMA POLITICS 101: OUR GREAT APOLOGIST IS OUT TO DESTROY THE LATE GREAT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. HE IS COAUGULATED WITH SOCIAL AND POLITICAL MISFITS, HIS AGENDA IS TO DREDGE UP REMAINING VESTIGES OF HATE AND DISCONTENT GOING BACK 200 YEARS AND ENLIST THEM IN HIS SUPPORT BASE. HIS ALMOST UNIVERSAL BACKING BY THE ELECTRONIC AND MUCH OF THE PRINT MEDIA IS INDEED FORMIDBLE, IT PREEMPTS LOGIC, REASON AND DEBATE BY SMOTHERING ALL OPPOSING COMMENTS AND IDEAS.

      LONG SHOT CHANCE – NORTH KOREA (ENEMY) OR ISRAEL (FRIEND) WILL LAUNCH AGAINST WASHINGTON D.C. WHILE PRESIDENT, AND CONGRESS ARE IN ATTENDANCE. THE WRITER VOLUNTEERS TO BE THERE DISTRIBUTING PROGRAMS AT THE TIME OF NUCLEAR CLEANSING WICH HOPEFULLY WILL EVEN REMOVE PERSONAL PROBLEMS LIKE B.O. AND GIVE US FRESH AIR AND NEW BIRTH OF FREEDOM.

      P.S MOM AT THE DINNER TABLE AGREES WITH THE COMMENTS

    19. Rita, Michigan says:

      Thank you, Representative Cantor, for speaking common sense and truth. We are in a state of emergency. We desperately need you and others to stand firm, be in the forefront, and fight for our good. Our country has elected a President who does not believe in the founding principles of this country & is out to change it into a socialist state which makes it "no better than any other country", (He said something very close to this in his speech in Egypt.) and robs each of its citizens of the ability to strive to be exceptional–to, force us all to be "more equal" in our living. If something or someone is of no special value/exceptional, then with our President's mindset,one would have to conclude that we (the USA) are not worth the effort it takes to be able to defend ourselves. I pray daily for God's blessing and supernatural empowerment on your lives, & on all of us to stand for truth.

    20. Gloria, Utah says:

      My husband lost his job due to impending defense cuts. His plant is a ghost town. How can defense be put on the back burner in a world where people mean to do us harm? I felt safe under President Bush. I have not felt safe since Jan. 20th of this year.

      Is the defense budget being cut so the funds can go to this crazy green stuff which is a farce? At least we'll be breathing easy in our collapsible sippy cup cars when they blow us off the face of the Earth. FIGHT THE DEFENSE CUTS! And KNOCK OFF THE SPENDING! People are angry, Congressman Cantor.

    21. John Rosky Andover, says:

      The President swore to defend the Constitution and defend the American People and so far has done neither.We need defense and oil production for this country and Obama just wants to take from the rich and give to the poor. If he thinks he is Robin Hood he should think again. The American people own the land for drilling on and have spent billions on a nuclear waste site in Nevada and we can't use it. Tell Obama to start thinking of the United States.

    22. Daver Ft. Worth says:

      Just as 4 year-olds have different realities than adults, so to do Statists (Libs) and conservatives. To communicate with a 4 year old, one needs to be very specific about cause and effect. They cannot make connections without it. So in the above posting–Mr. Cantor should've told the 4 year-olds, sorry Statists, that without missile defense, most anything shot at us will cause loss of life and property. Most likely even trees and flowers. So we need to prevent these missiles from reaching the United States.

      Additionally, our defense industry is actually a legitimate source of employment and good jobs for people who need to work. There's no need for reductions in this area–this increases unemployment adding people to the list of people who now need, rather than contribute to the general welfare of society.

      Now be a good little Bama and take a month off so the country can recover a bit from your first attempt at playing king!

    23. Bill & Jeanne Ma says:

      In the "Federal Times" we read that you and John Boehner want to cut federal employees retirement benefits. Our son has served 7 years in the Secret Service and is now in the DEA. This action would be a great injustice to all the men and women who serve diligently within federal law enforcement agencies.

      The DEA is already grossly underfunded in its attempt to enforce the international drug crisis.

      We have defended you and ALL CONSERVATIVES in the past and hope to do so in the future.

      Please respond.

    24. Eric, Michigan says:

      From the article here:

      http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/TheNote/story?id=7

      I just want to let Eric Cantor know that he sounds like he's in a deluded mental state, and is approaching psychosis. He should probably seek mental health care. He's apparently not even living on the same planet, let alone within the same country , or state, as the people he's referring to.

      Unfortunatly, he is completely unreachable through any normal means.

    25. Jon says:

      Seriously people. The US spends over 600 billion dollars a year on defense. To give that some perspective: it's about 40% of what the entire world spends on defense (US is 5% or world pop.), most of the health care bills estimate their costs at 90 billion dollars a year. It's not like we'll be helpless here. Then damn thing doesn't even work yet. Just google it. Plus, how'd we feel if Russia decided to build the same thing in Mexico or Cuba? Remember that…Cuban Missile Crisis, brink of nuclear war? Stop reading these blogs and get some perspective.

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