Securing Our National Security
Each and every day, I remember that New Jersey is a 9-11 state. I also recognize that enemies of our nation still seek to destroy our way of life.
Today, America faces threats at every turn. Enemies like Iran and North Korea are building nuclear weapons targeted on America and our allies.
Al Qaeda, though weakened, continues to proliferate from worldwide safe havens. They continue to plot to attack us at home and abroad and aspire to kill thousands of Americans.
In addition, continued economic turmoil has forced many of our most stalwart allies to turn inward, and in some cases, gut their own military forces to pay for an unaffordable social welfare state.
For our part, we must make sure that we adequately fund the Department of Defense and our intelligence agencies.
At a time when this Administration has found the ‘will and the wallet’ to throw billions of borrowed dollars at every domestic program under the sun, our leaders are, unfortunately, finding ways to cut defense – sometimes subtler, sometimes blatant.
On top of the half trillion in cuts the President and Congress have already imposed on our military, we could face an additional $50 billion a year- every year- for the next decade. That’s a total of $100 billion a year – for the next ten years- cut from our men and women in uniform.
We must not delude ourselves by believing that we can maintain a solid defense that is driven by budget choices, not strategic ones. As former Sec. Gates said, “talking about DoD cuts without talking about threats to America is simply math and not strategy.”
As a senior member of House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Chairman of E&W and assigned to House Intel Committee, I say we must decide what do we want our military to do, and only then evaluate savings within the DoD.
I also support reform of our military acquisition processes. Getting new tools into the hands of our warfighters takes too long and costs too much.
I have supported efforts to re-examine our national security priorities in light of the new irregular challenges and threats that are proliferating well beyond Afghanistan, from Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Syria and Africa.
I have urged the Administration and Congress to make sure we make enough investments today to ensure that we will be prepared to defend our interests against ALL threats in the years to come.
Above all, we must never forget that the U.S. military is the modern era’s greatest champion of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is time we focus our fiscal restraint on the driver of the debt, instead of the protector of our prosperity.