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Mitch Daniels on Homeland Security

Republican IN Governor


WMD and National Debt, the two greatest dangers to America

The shocking run-up in US national debt has been paralleled by a similar leap in the share owed to foreigners, which climbed from 30% in 2001 to 46% in 2009. We are now borrowing the entire defense budget (we've been spending about $700 billion a year on defense while running a deficit of about $1.4 trillion), much of it from the very countries, most notably China, against whom our forces might one day have to be deployed. Fiscal failure will inevitably lead to defense decline.

Today's America faces tw dangers that rise to the level that threaten our national survival. The first is the emergence of Islamist religious fanatics in potential possessions of weapons of mass destruction. The second threat is much more abstract and is posed not by a foreign enemy but by our own past and current imprudence. Today's clearest and most present danger is the Red Menace [the national deficit]. We either deal decisively with the threat, or simply let it ruin our nation, our standard of living, our way of life.

Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p. 30-31&154 , Sep 20, 2011

Defense spending must be reviewed for budget cuts

No area of the budget can be off-limits, and it is incumbent on a person of my party, traditionally the advocate of national defense, to include military spending among the items for critical inspection. The willingness of the United States to build and maintain the dominant military has been a blessing to the world. But when we are borrowing the entire defense budget two times over and facing debts that could quickly bankrupt us, or through rapidly climbing interest payments, starve those very capabilities that have protected us and others, basic questions are in order: What size and kind of military is absolutely essential to preserve the physical safety of Americans? What, very strictly defined, are the national interests of our country? OUR country.
Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p.210 , Sep 20, 2011

Rampant waste in defense spending

In defense spending, waste is rampant (the Pentagon is the original home of the phrase "It costs what it costs") and excess genetic. At the federal Office of Management and Budget, they say that the Department of Defense motto should be "Wait! There's a harder way!" But protecting Americans for a lot less money cannot happen just by better procurement or a couple fewer weapons systems or, to take a more recent cost driver, less exorbitant lifetime health care benefits. It will have to involve a reassessment of the pyramid, worldwide tasks we have assigned our forces. Missions cost money, and we cannot simply demand that our soldiers continue to take on the same amount of work for a lot less of it.
Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p.211 , Sep 20, 2011

Limit defense missions to the vital interests of our country

What, very strictly defined are the national interests of our country? OUR country. The answer may or may not encompass the mission to which presidents of both parties have at various times committed us, to attempt to spread universally the human rights we hold dear. As Henry Kissinger has said, "The freedom of every single independent nation had become the national objective, irrespective of those nations' strategic importance to the United States." Instead, quoting Dr. Kissinger from his book "Diplomacy", we should be "careful not to multiply moral commitments while the financial and military resources for the conducts of a global foreign policy are being curtailed." One other point Kissinger made in "Diplomacy" comes to mind: that "our foreign policy must begin with the definition of what constitutes a vital interest--a change in the international environment so likely to undermine the national security that it must be resisted."
Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p.210-211 , Sep 20, 2011

2010 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Homeland Security: Mitch Daniels on other issues:

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Daniel Coats
Richard Lugar

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Page last updated: Nov 05, 2011