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The impact of a strong national defense

Updated on July 13, 2014

The impact of a strong national defense cannot be denied. Today the military is being reduced to levels before World War II. Shrinking the size of our military is a bad idea. Recently news reports indicated some troops now serving in such places as Afghanistan are getting pink slips. These troops have been putting their lives on the line to protect the liberties we enjoy under the Constitution. Having a strong national defense could not have been better stated than a quote from George Washington. The quote is provided below:

“Are we well prepared to meet and enemy and thereby likely to produce peace?”

“There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet an enemy.”

George Washington got it right but having a strong national defense is only half of the impact we must be willing to use that posture to influence peace around the world if it is something for which we can play a role. The United States has been viewed as the policeman of the world but there are always going to be problems in parts of the world where our national interest is at stake. When this occurs we must have a strong military to make the decisions that need to be made.

It has been stated many times in news reports that our military is stretched thin around the world and some say we should not be in many of the places we now find ourselves but we publicly do not always know the purpose for our presence though it may be justified. The enemies we have and our allies have around the world are not holding back on their efforts to do us harm. Technology today has increased their ability to communicate with each other and we need to have the personnel in place to counteract and prevent their plans to come to fruition. We must continue to have a strong military to have the resources necessary to respond to our enemies when the need arises.

There have been times when those serving us around the world in such places as our embassies where our military did not respond to the need when our citizens were in danger. A good example of this need is the incident of Bengasi where we had citizens killed including our Ambassador. The event in Bengasi raises some questions about the security of these individuals and it is unclear how giving pink slips to those fighting in dangerous locations would increase the security of our country or protect the our national security. We have embassies all over the world and while it is the host country who is responsible for protecting our embassies and our personnel we need to have the protection of our own troops in place. The policy in many administrations of the past was to have a strong defense with a solid military organization with the resources to be ready to defend our security whenever the need arises. Policy in the past has been that negotiating from a position of strength is the best defense. Congress needs to make sure we will always have a strong military organization across all services.

It is true that the President is Commander in Chief of our military and can make certain decisions without Congress but Congress has some responsibility to respond to cutting the size of our military and should do so with the utmost urgency. Congress must support our military to the fullest extent of their authority and make sure we always have a strong defense with the resources required to address issues affecting the security of our country. Our military has equipment which is old and needs to be replaced some of which are outdated and do not provide the safety protection our troops deserve. There have been decisions to not replace some of this equipment and in some cases there may be some justification but in others the justification does not appear to be there.

Individuals serving us in the military deserve to have the resources and the latest equipment to keep them safe. When decisions not to replace outdated equipment are made Congress must evaluate the decision and respond. While there may be some sound evidence where some programs as suggested need to be cancelled but any changes in the structure of our military organizations must ensure that the tools to keep our troops safe are there. Other aspects related to costs also bring some concerns or should. Some of the information which has surfaced in the reports indicates that those now serving us will be required to contribute more to their health insurance and other benefits. One thing I do not understand to some extent is why our military should be required to pay for their health insurance.


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