by Fran Freedle
The basic premise upon which our foreign policy should rely is that America must be capable of proactively protecting the nation and its citizens. Our armed forces must be ready to act anywhere in the world where vital national interests are threatened. This can be achieved by giving the military the resources it needs to keep us safe and maintain freedom.
The Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute and CNN will host a debate with our Republican Presidential candidates on foreign policy and national security on November 15 (8 p.m. EST). This debate will be an opportunity to increase public understanding of the candidates’ positions on critical foreign policy and national security questions requiring American leadership in the second decade of the 21st century.
National Defense Authorization Act of 2012
Both the House and Senate have several detainee-related provisions in their versions of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that is presently being debated. This is the main funding bill for the Department of Defense for the next Fiscal Year. It would serve us well if Congress could base their decisions on whether the provisions support and respect the President’s power under the Constitution recognizing his power within the bounds of Supreme Court precedent, treaty obligations and common sense.
We must maintain a high level of awareness of China’s assertiveness in Asia. We continue to hold differing views over the rights of coastal states in the waters and airspace beyond their territorial seas. The US must preserve our industrial base and continue robust research and development to stay ahead and not lose our military standing. We must foster healthy relationships in the region particularly with Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan. We cannot ignore a China that threatens its neighbors.
On the home-front, in September we thwarted the 41st Islamic-inspired terrorist plot with 29 of the threats involving one or more American citizens, many of whom were radicalized via the web. We must use all available tools to maintain our security and combat terrorist threats. We must use all federal, state and local resources (money, people, expertise, etc.) to keep our citizens safe and free. We must establish better information sharing among agencies to improve efficiency and timeliness.
Defense spending and the Super Committee
The greatest threat we face could be the risk of cuts to Defense spending. Even eliminating vital Defense spending completely would not solve our entitlement spending problems. The share of spending for Defense has been in decline since 1970 compared to the share of spending for entitlements that has tripled. The Super Committee has to meet critical thresholds or Defense spending will be cut severely.
Obama’s sends troops
President Obama has personally deployed troops to three countries without Congressional action - Libya, Uganda and Yemen. We must remind him of the Constitutional requirements and continue to question the wisdom of deploying troops to countries that do not meet the test of threats to our vital national interest.
Fran Freedle is a former Nevada County Supervisor and the Legislative Chairman for the Nevada County Republican Women Federated.