Tony Knowles on Homeland Security
2004 former Democratic Challenger for Senate (AK; previously served as Governor)
KNOWLES: I support a national missile defense system. I believe in a strong national defense and realize that threats to America exist around the world, including the threat of nuclear attack from rogue nations. America must protect itself and that includes a workable missile defense system. Alaska’s strategic location makes it a logical place to base such defensive weapons.
MURKOWSKI: Yes. It is important we have a missile defense system that protects all 50 states. Alaska is the only location that can offer that protection. While we must also be vigilante against other potential threats, we cannot ignore threats from rogue nations that have intercontinental missile capabilities or the possibility of a terrorist group obtaining a long-range missile.
KNOWLES: Fairbanksans were not satisfied with a system that left them under a thick blanket of smoke for weeks and neither am I. Recognizing best forest practices allow wildfires to burn in remote areas, I would work with Fire Service professionals to address these problems-both here & in the lower 48-by reducing risk through controlled burns, adequately funding needed fire crews to protect homes and personal property, and ensuring the availability and safety of aerial tankers.
MURKOWSKI: Alaska is served well by the Alaska Fire Service. Officials from the state and AFS met daily to assess the fire status and set daily priorities. The process worked. Despite such cooperation, I have concerns regarding the fire protection zones that delineate Alaska. Interior communities have a right to know how their land areas are zoned. I support holding public meetings to determine if the various suppression zones need to be re-classified.
Knowles:. As a Vietnam veteran, I know America’s enemies abroad should be pursued and defeated. A pre-emptive strike is justifiable when there is an imminent danger to America. From what we know today, Congress and the public were given false information about Iraq. I support a doctrine learned from Vietnam and established by Colin Powell in the first Gulf War: Military force should only be used if there was a clear risk to national security; that the force used should be overwhelming; and that the operation must have strong public support and a clear exit strategy.
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