Young Americans Have Largest Stake In Maintaining A Strong Military And Effective Homeland Security Policies

by J. Wesley Fox - Date: 2010-07-12 - Word Count: 1112 Share This!

Americans are truly blessed to live in a country protected by the most powerful and effective military force in the world. Our military allows us to live without fear of hostile neighbors or attack from aggressive rivals. In addition to our own security, our military has been a force for freedom throughout the world since the end of World War 2. Numerous countries in Europe, Asia, and South America live in peace because of close support and assistance from the U.S. military. Often the mere presence of a U.S aircraft carrier can defuse international tensions and deter aggressive states from using force. Maintaining a strong military and close relations with allies abroad ensures our own security as well as international peace and stability.

Young Americans have the largest stake in ensuring that the United States remains strong for its own defense and to maintain peace and stability abroad. It is Young Americans that do the bulk of the fighting in armed conflicts. If the U.S. and its allies fail to maintain international peace and stability, it is Young Americans that will have to fight to restore it.

Many Americans fail to understand why we continue spend so much on our military when we face no immediate threat from a foreign power. Some argue that we do not need such a large and expensive military force, and should begin cutting defense spending. However, history has shown us that complacency can have devastating costs and that maintaining a strong national defense force has more to do with avoiding war than it does fighting them.

The U.S. military prevents armed conflicts in the world by its mere presence in numerous regions around the world. First, hostile states do not challenge or compete with the United States so long as our military has such dominance. Second, American military power and political influence can discourage states from fighting one another, especially if the U.S. has ties to one of the belligerent states. It is no coincidence that there have been very few international wars over the past several decades. Finally, the United States has been a force for freedom in the world, liberating oppressed peoples and working to establish free and prosperous democracies on several continents. Democracies almost never fight one another.

It is easy to take these benefits for granted because we never hear about it in the news and it is impossible to quantify how many lives or how much money our military power truly saves. Many Americans as well as the media only see the costs of the U.S. military. This perspective fails to account for half of the equation. It is a sound principle of the U.S. "to secure peace is to prepare for war."

In addition, the U.S. does face potential and immediate threats that cannot be ignored. Some countries are aggressively seeking to challenge U.S. dominance. China is gaining considerable power and influence in Asia. It is clear they wish to one day compete with the United States for influence in the world. Russia has a nuclear arsenal almost comparable to the U.S. and has recently begun an aggressive military re-armament. In the last two years, it has increased defense spending by 50%. Both Russia and China are also attempting to develop advanced new weapon systems to compete with U.S. weaponry.

The U.S. also faces unconventional threats. September 11th showed Americans that we face attacks from enemies that do not have countries but can still kill thousands. The threat of terrorism is further amplified if they were to obtain weapons of mass destruction. These weapons allow terrorist groups to inflict massive damage on a country without having to train and arm a single combat division.

Restore America's Legacy strongly believes the United States must continue to maintain the most powerful military in the world. The U.S. Government should maintain current defense spending levels, force structure, and technological superiority. Although expensive in comparison to other countries, the Dept. of Defense budget represents only 20% of the total budget. Defense cuts would be extremely costly to our national security and would do nothing to solve the U.S. Government's budget problems.

In order to respond to future threats, the U.S. must not allow itself to be bogged down in military operations or nation-building for extended periods of time. Restore America's Legacy supports the current withdrawal plans from Iraq, giving the Iraqi Government responsibility for its own security. U.S. operations in Afghanistan are also vital but once Afghan forces are capable of providing security, American forces should focus exclusively on defeating Al Qaida rather than nation-building.

To ensure we do not become complacent with homeland security, we should continue to fund counter-terrorism operations, including actively pursuing terrorists in the mountains of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and across the world. There is no success in the War on Terror until Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri are brought to justice. The U.S. must also deal with captured terrorists in a manner that does not threaten our national security or ongoing counterterrorism operations. Foreign terrorists should not be tried in civilian courts, but instead be tried in military tribunals as provided for by federal law and recent Supreme Court decisions. Military tribunals are consistent with international law and our own values.

Finally, the U.S. Government must continue its efforts to improve services provided for veterans. The Dept. of Veterans Affairs must be sufficiently funded to provide sufficient healthcare and education services to veterans returning home. Soldiers should be rewarded for their service with better wages and excellent benefits. Not only is it the right thing to do, it enhances recruiting through a clear demonstration that military service is honored and rewarded. When Young Americans enlist and serve abroad, they are giving years of their lives that would otherwise be spent going to college, embarking on a career, or starting a family. They should be able to easily resume these pursuits upon their return to civilian life.

Young Americans have a very large and very real stake in the U.S. maintaining a strong national defense and homeland security. It is more than a Constitutional commitment to provide for the common defense, it is Young Americans that may be called upon to pay the ultimate price if we fail to maintain peace and stability. Restore America's Legacy seeks out candidates that will honor the government's commitment to its own citizens, to our allies and friends abroad, and to our veterans. It is the primary function of the federal government to provide for the common defense, a function that should never be used as a chip in political battles and negotiations. The federal government must continue providing for the common defense and being a force for freedom and democracy across the world.

J. Wesley Fox is the Chairman of Restore America's Legacy PAC. He is a recent graduate of DePaul University College of Law and has been active in local and national politics for several years. He currently lives in New Jersey after growing up in the Chicago suburbs.www.restoreamericaslegacy.comn
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