We must have a strong military, our allies need to know that we will be there for them, and our enemies need to understand we will respond if provoked. To that end in regards to the military, defense of our nation, and conflicts around the globe I will support legislation to accomplish the following:
- Reduce waste in the defense budget by eliminating the "use it or lose it" mentality that causes unit commanders to waste the remainder of their budgets at the end of the fiscal year to ensure their budget doesn't get cut the following year, potentially leaving them unable to make required purchases. Units should not be penalized for being responsible with taxpayer money.
- Reduce waste in the military budget by listening to military commanders concerning their equipment needs instead of paying for the construction of equipment that is not needed. While I realize this will impact jobs that depend on some of these contracts, they can be redirected to other government equipment needs other than military hardware.
- Increase pay for enlisted personnel and the lower officer ranks to ensure that our service members do not require government assistance to provide for themselves and their families. If you're wearing the uniform of our armed services, you shouldn't need food stamps to feed your family.
- Reduce our involvement in conflicts around the globe where our presence is neither wanted nor productive. We should work to reduce UN dependence on our military and require our allies to share more of the load, especially since we often have bases in their countries which help their economies and show that we have their backs should they face a military incursion. It's time for them to pull their weight as well.
- Increase our presence in regions where our allies are being threatened, for example near Japan and China's encroachment into their territory, and in South Korea where North Korea is acting with increasing aggression and provocative action. This is not a prelude to war, but rather a display of strength to reassure our allies and warn our enemies that the peace must be maintained, and to provide pressure to bring them to the negotiating table.
- Military research provides thousands of high tech jobs as well as jobs on the very bleeding edge of what is possible with today's technologies, as well as developing new ones. The internet itself was born from Defense research, specifically DARPA. Research programs however, should be walked away from if they are not productive, feasible, or plagued with performance and safety issues.
- If our military is to be used against a nation state, it should only happen with an official declaration of war against that nation state, with the full might of our military brought to bear and a clear, achievable mission. These half measures and lack of mission over the last several decades has resulted in a deteriorated military, endless conflicts in regions across the globe, and extremely high civilian casualties and suffering.