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  • Protect America Month Guest Blog: First Principles and National Security

    “Providing for the common defense” is the federal government’s single most important responsibility as prescribed by the Constitution. It is the cornerstone of our freedom, upon which all other liberties and guarantees rely.

    Our nation’s ability to protect its citizens must remain the foremost priority for the President and Congress, regardless of political affiliation or public sentiment. This requires providing the Department of Defense (DOD) with the necessary resources to do so.

    Last week, the House of Representatives passed the Sequester Replacement and Reconciliation Act, designed to ensure those resources are in place by preventing devastating across-the-board cuts to our military. This legislation cuts $316 billion in federal spending over 10 years while preventing $78 billion in defense cuts next year. If left in place, sequestration would slash DOD funding by a catastrophic $600 billion over 10 years. This comes on the heels of President Obama’s recommendation to cut an additional $490 billion from our defense budget over the next decade.

    The President’s decision to reduce military spending comes at a time when China and Russia are rapidly increasing their own. The threat of a nuclear Iran grows each day, while rogue elements of the Pakistani government consistently dismantle or thwart U.S. progress in Afghanistan.

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta defended the Administration’s decision earlier in the year, explaining that the Pentagon does not “anticipate” engaging in ground wars similar to Iraq or Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, current expectations do not make for sound future defense policy. Certainly, President Roosevelt did not “anticipate” the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, just as President Bush did not expect the 9/11 attacks.

    Our national military strategy was altered to fit this new vision (and the President’s budget) by no longer requiring the military to be capable of carrying out two ground wars simultaneously. By doing so, it allows for a smaller force structure, decreased spending on weapons and technology, and the elimination of other military programs.

    For example, the F-22 Raptor, which provides unrivaled air superiority, is a recent casualty of DOD cuts, despite the fact that the Chinese and the Russians are attempting to develop similar fifth-generation technology. Further, sophisticated and highly lethal missile systems such as the SA-20 and S-300/400 are proliferating worldwide.

    It’s been said that the usefulness of weapons systems like the F-22 is limited, given that the Administration doesn’t anticipate any conflicts against near-peer adversaries in the foreseeable future. Of course, the reason why other nations with more traditional militaries do not wish to pursue a conflict with the United States is precisely because we have superior military assets.

    A strong national defense not only allows the U.S. to react to acts of war quickly and effectively; it also serves as a deterrent to those attacks from hostile nations or groups. This security is the foundation upon which our freedoms are based. Simply put, the latter cannot exist without the former.

    Congressman Phil Gingrey (R) represents Georgia’s 11th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Protect America Month Guest Blog: First Principles and National Security

    1. John says:

      Governing by polls and in particular taking a quasi barometric approach to foriegn policy and the tactical defense of this country is horribly flawed. The ideology that drives the world outside of our borders and in particular those entities/countries that do not view us in favorable terms should not become the basis for our foriegn policy and defense initiatives, whereby we become accommodators and appologists. America, sans what warts and flaws that may seem unflatoring to the Geo-Politically Correct crowd, still remains the bastion for freedom and the flag bearer for civilty and human rights. ____Unfortunately, our liberalism blinds us to the truth that the balance of the world does not subscribe to liberal dogma and thus holds/views us with limited regard and dare I say weak. Those nations that are in turmoil need a strong advocate and supporter of freedom

    2. John says:

      Unfortunately, our liberalism blinds us to the truth that the balance of the world does not subscribe to liberal dogma and thus holds/views us with limited regard and dare I say weak. Those nations that are in turmoil need a strong advocate and supporter of freedom; and the only viable player is the US. This is not to say that we need to meddle in every nations affairs but without a strong defense and a clear presentation/representation of our geo-political position then we will be tested. Such testing is relentless and but for the foilded attempts that are presented by the news media, we generally don't know or have an appreciation for what our military, inteligence community and defense initiatives are accomplishing on a 24/7 basis.

    3. John says:

      The intent of evil is to be a disruptive force which takes very little to create and not much effort to sustain. Conversely, being responsible for a nation and it's people, whereby you have to ensure their well being and welfare requires considerably more effort and talent. Terrorists understand this perverse ratio of only needing to succeed but once sans the 1000's of times they try and fail. This is a cautionary tale of prevention and the need to, unfortunately, have a well funded military. This only becomes a talking point because of the failed economy and thus the liberal ideology that we can cut such costs in light of the budget issue that this country faces.

      Insurance always seems foolish when you are not using it but once you have a true need for it and don't have it…you then realize the error of your judgement. Yet again the debate that the Obama administration wants to force is flawed because this is not about overspending on our defense but rather the failed/flawed policies of this administration relative to the economy.

    4. KJinAZ says:

      Sadly the american people now need protection from our government. Cases like Fast and Furious demonstrate that our government is not looking out for our best interests. To hand thousands of guns to mexican gangs is Treason, which is our countries most serious crime. The lack of prosecution in this case is a disgrace of the worst kind. Without justice in our nation we have nothing.

    5. John Edgeworth says:

      Its sad to think how far we have come because of liberalism progressivism. While the folks that support this 'way" of thinking may have good intentions but now we are now in danger of being, not becoming, but being afraid of what our government will do to us. Big brother is watching and they WILL come for you, if you cross the line. At present the hard hand of this oppressive government has become very active because of our current President. This election will decide if we will continue down this road, we have already crossed the folk in the road and, in my opinion, taken the wrong way. We must cross over to the 'right" road, if not and President Obama is reelected, our great experiment, our Republic, has come to an end, and a new socialist, soft “Communism” government will be running the Country from now own. May the Lord God have mercy on us, and great us wisdom to see the errors of our ways and the strength to correct them.

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