issues2000

Topics in the News: Armed Forces Personnel


Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Sep 28, 2016
FactCheck: US spends more than NATO, but only 22% on NATO

Trump said, "The 28 countries of NATO, many of them aren't paying their fair share.... We pay approximately 73% of the cost of NATO." [Is that true?]

The US share is calculated on the basis of GDP--and adjusted regularly. Currently that's 22%, compared to about 15% for Germany, 11% for France, 10% for the UK, 8% for Italy, 7% for Canada, and so forth--based on NATO's guideline, established in 2006, that defense expenditures should amount to 2% of each country's GDP. The median spending in 2015 is just 1.18% of GDP, compared to 3.7% for the US, Just four other countries currently exceed the 2% guideline.

However, on INDIRECT funding, NATO says, "The volume of the US defense expenditure effectively represents 73% of the defense spending of the Alliance."

In short, direct funding of NATO is allocated on a reasonable formula, with the US paying just 22% of the cost. But indirect funding is a different issue, with U.S. defense spending far exceeding the spending of other NATO members.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Washington Post Fact-check on First 2016 Presidential Debate

Jill Stein on War & Peace : Sep 27, 2016
Nuclear disarmament with Russia, not threats over Syria

Hillary Clinton has said she would like to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, which basically means we are going to war with Russia, because imposing a no-fly zone [means] you shoot down people that are in that airspace. And remember, we have 2,000 nuclear weapons now, between us and the Russians, on hair-trigger alert. So, this is certainly a very dangerous territory, where Hillary Clinton has continued to beat the drums of war, leading us in a very dangerous direction.

Instead of spending a trillion dollars creating a new generation of nuclear weapons and modes of delivery, it's time to instead change direction here and move as quickly as humanly possible towards nuclear disarmament. And instead of blaming the Russians, we need to acknowledge it was actually the Russians who tried to engage us in a nuclear disarmament process, again, several decades ago. We need to revive that proposal, take them up on it and move to nuclear disarmament as quickly as we possibly can.

Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: DemocracyNow interview on First 2016 Presidential Debate

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Sep 26, 2016
We defend Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia: they need to pay

TRUMP: We defend Japan, we defend Germany, we defend South Korea, we defend Saudi Arabia, we defend countries. They do not pay us. But they should be paying us, because we are providing tremendous service and we're losing a fortune. It's very possible that if they don't pay a fair share, because this isn't 40 years ago where we could do what we're doing. We can't defend Japan, a behemoth, selling us cars by the million. They may have to defend themselves or they have to help us out. We're a country that owes $20 trillion. They have to help us out.

CLINTON: I want to reassure our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere that we have mutual defense treaties and we will honor them. It is essential that America's word be good. On behalf of a majority of the American people, I want to say that our word is good.

TRUMP: And as far as Japan is concerned, I want to help all of our allies, but we are losing billions and billions of dollars. We cannot be the policemen of the world.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : Sep 7, 2016
Move V.A. into 21st century, but not by privatizing

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton six months ago said the vets are being treated essentially just fine, there's no real problem, it's over-exaggerated. She said she was satisfied with what was going on in the Veterans Administration.

Q [to Clinton]: Last October you said that surveys of veterans show that they're overall satisfied with their treatment and that the problems with the V.A. aren't as widespread as they're made out to be.

CLINTON: Look, I was outraged by the stories that came out about the V.A. And I have been very clear about the necessity for doing whatever is required to move the V.A. into the 21st century, to provide the kind of treatment options that our veterans today desperately need and deserve. And that's what I will do as president. But I will not let the V.A. be privatized. And I do think there is an agenda out there, supported by my opponent, to do just that. I think that would be very disastrous for our military veterans.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: NBC News 2016 Commander-in-Chief forum

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Jill Stein on Homeland Security : Aug 8, 2016
Close the 700+ foreign military bases

Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: Stein-Baraka platform on 2016 presidential campaign website

Mike Pence on Homeland Security : Jul 20, 2016
We see promise after promise to our veterans forgotten

We have seen borders that go unrespected, a military that has been diminished, promise after ringing promise to our veterans promptly forgotten. Then Donald Trump came along and started saying what practically everybody was thinking anyway, that our leaders need to be stronger.

Under Donald Trump, our deals will be stronger. Under Donald Trump, our deals will be smarter, our soldiers will have what they need, and our veterans will have what they earned.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: Speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention

Gary Johnson on Homeland Security : Jul 7, 2016
Cut 20% of military bases in US and abroad

Q: What spending precisely would you eliminate to achieve your twin goals of cutting taxes and balancing the budget?

JOHNSON: Let's talk specifically about the Pentagon itself, which says we could reduce 20% of US bases. But none of it has happened, because members of Congress won't allow [closure of] bases that exist in their home states.

Q: How about military bases abroad?

JOHNSON: That same number would apply to military bases abroad, although I have not heard the Pentagon comment on that.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Washington Post joint interview of Johnson & Weld

Bill Weld on Homeland Security : Jun 22, 2016
Maintain invincible defense but cut military 20%

Q: How do you balance maintaining the military while attempting to eliminate wasteful spending?

WELD: The baseline position of the Libertarian Party is an invincible defense. An invincible defense includes projection of military supremacy both air and naval around the world, because people around the world really do pay attention. It does not encompass interventionism, boots on the ground, American blood on foreign soil. [But] every agency has 20% waste [so we will cut the military by 20%].

Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: CNN Libertarian Town Hall: joint interview of Johnson & Weld

David French on Homeland Security : Jun 1, 2016
Don't allow women in military combat positions

French, a veteran, does not believe women should be allowed in military combat positions. In Sept. 2015, he supported the Marine Corps' position that women should be barred from infantry, machine-gunners and fire-support reconnaissance units.

"If you integrate infantry units by gender, more Americans will die, and our enemy will have a better chance to prevail on the battlefield," French wrote, citing a Marine Corps study that found all-male infantry units out-performed mixed gender ones.

"Will we have to endure the broken bodies of men and women who could have been saved, of breaches in lines that never should have opened, before we acknowledge reality?" French wrote. "Men are stronger than women, and in ground combat, that strength is the difference between life and death, victory and defeat."

Three months after French wrote this column, the Defense Secretary overruled the Marines and said that women will be allowed in all combat positions in the U.S. military.

Click for David French on other issues.   Source: Time Magazine on 2016 presidential hopefuls

Jill Stein on War & Peace : May 9, 2016
War on terror has cost $6T and a million lives

We are calling for a foreign policy that goes back to the drawing board because our current policy is based on economic and military domination. We need a foreign policy based on international law, human rights and diplomacy.

The current foreign policy isn't working out so well for us. We've spend $6 trillion since September 11, 2001, on these wars for oil or wars on terror, whatever you call them. A million people have been killed in Iraq alone, and that isn't winning the hearts and minds of people in the Middle East, to say the least. And we have killed or wounded tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers. What do we have to show for it? Failed states and a mass refugee crisis.

And with each new front in this war in the Middle East, we are creating worse terrorist threats.

Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: SocialistWorker.org interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Mike Pence on Homeland Security : Mar 22, 2016
Supported expanding benefits and opportunities for veterans

Pence signed more than a dozen bills he says will expand benefits and opportunities for Indiana's military servicemembers and veterans. [One veteran's spokesperson], who led the Indiana National Guard for 11 years, says he's particularly pleased with one that expands the Military Family Relief Fund. That program was originally created to help post-9/11 veterans pay food, housing, utility, transportation and medical bills. Umbarger says the legislation extends that help to all veterans.
Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: WFYI news "Pence Signs 13 Bills," 2016 Indiana Governor race

Ted Cruz on Homeland Security : Mar 15, 2016
Provide our veterans the care they have been promised

Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: 2016 presidential campaign website TedCruz.org

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : Feb 4, 2016
Fight the idea of privatizing the V.A.

Q: You will likely face a Republican opponent who wants to privatize or even abolish big parts of the V.A. It's a newly popular idea in conservative politics.

CLINTON: First of all, I'm absolutely against privatizing the V.A. I am going do everything I can to build on the reforms that Senator Sanders and others in Congress have passed to try to fix what's wrong with the V.A. There are a lot of issues about wait times & services that have to be fixed because our veterans deserve nothing but the best. Yes, let's fix the V.A., but we will never let it be privatized, and that is a promise.

SANDERS: Republicans give a lot of speeches about how much they love veterans. But when it came to put money on the line [in my comprehensive veterans bill], to protect our veterans, frankly, they were not there. Secretary Clinton is absolutely right, there are people, a group called Concerned Veterans of America, funded by the Koch brothers, yes, there are people out there who want to privatize it.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : Feb 4, 2016
Promise to never privatize V.A.

Q: You will likely face a Republican opponent who wants to privatize or even abolish big parts of the V.A. It's a newly popular idea in conservative politics.

CLINTON: I'm absolutely against privatizing the V.A. And I am going do everything I can to build on the reforms that Senator Sanders and others in Congress have passed to try to fix what's wrong with the V.A. There are a lot of issues about wait times and services that have to be fixed because our veterans deserve nothing but the best. Yes, let's fix the V.A., but we will never let it be privatized, and that is a promise.

SANDERS: Republicans give a lot of speeches about how much they love veterans. But when it came to put money on the line [in my comprehensive veterans bill], to protect our veterans, frankly, they were not there. Secretary Clinton is absolutely right, there are people, Koch brothers among others, who have a group called Concerned Veterans of America, who want to privatize.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire

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Bernie Sanders on Homeland Security : Feb 4, 2016
Strengthen the V.A.; don't privatize the V.A.

CLINTON: I'm absolutely against privatizing the V.A. I am going do everything I can to build on the reforms that Senator Sanders and others in Congress have passed to try to fix what's wrong with the V.A. .

SANDERS: Republicans give a lot of speeches about how much they love veterans. I work with the American Legion, the VFW, the DAV, the Vietnam Vets, and virtually every veterans organization to put together the most comprehensive piece of the veterans legislation in the modern history of America. Every Democrat voted for it; I got two Republicans. That is pathetic. So Republicans talk a good game about veterans, but when it came to put money on the line to protect our veterans, frankly, they were not there. Secretary Clinton is absolutely right, there are people, Koch brothers among others, who have a group called Concerned Veterans of America, funded by the Koch brothers, yes, there are people out there who want to privatize it. We've got to strengthen the V.A. We do not privatize the V.A.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire

Bernie Sanders on Homeland Security : Feb 4, 2016
Promise to never privatize V.A.

Q: You will likely face a Republican opponent who wants to privatize or even abolish big parts of the V.A. It's a newly popular idea in conservative politics.

SANDERS: Republicans give a lot of speeches about how much they love veterans. But when it came to put money on the line [in my comprehensive veterans bill], to protect our veterans, frankly, they were not there. There are people, Koch brothers among others, who have a group called Concerned Veterans of America, who want to privatize it.

CLINTON: I'm absolutely against privatizing the V.A. And I am going do everything I can to build on the reforms that Senator Sanders and others in Congress have passed to try to fix what's wrong with the V.A. There are a lot of issues about wait times and services that have to be fixed because our veterans deserve nothing but the best. Yes, let's fix the V.A., but we will never let it be privatized, and that is a promise.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire

Tim Kaine on War & Peace : Jan 20, 2016
Iran is the real threat; Israel can make peace with Arabs

After spending six days in the Middle East, Kaine said he believes that Israel's emerging cooperation with some of its neighbors is cause for optimism. Kaine spoke with officials in Israel, the West Bank and Turkey, as well as with nongovernmental organizations.

Kaine said that in previous trips to Israel, he often came away frustrated with the prospect of Israelis and their Arab neighbors living in peace. "When you talk with senior leadership, you tend to hear the same thing over & over again.

Click for Tim Kaine on other issues.   Source: Washington Jewish Week on 2016 Veepstakes

Jeb Bush on Homeland Security : Jan 14, 2016
We're still flying B-52's; they're now older than the pilots

Under President Jeb Bush, we would restore the strength of the military. The deployments are too high for the military personnel. We don't have procurement being done for refreshing the equipment. The B-52 is still operational as the long range bomber; it was inaugurated in the age of Harry Truman. The planes are older than the pilots. We're gutting our military, and so the Iranians and the Chinese and the Russians and other countries look at the United States not as serious as we once were.
Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate

Mike Huckabee on War & Peace : Jan 14, 2016
Rebuild military but we should not fight without clear goals

We need to never ever spend a drop of American blood unless there is a clearly defined goal and we can't make sure we win unless we have a military that's the strongest in the history of mankind. We've got to have a military that the world is afraid of, use it sparingly, but when we do, the whole world will know that America is on their tail.
Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: Fox Business 2016 Republican Undercard debate

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jan 13, 2016
We spend more on military than next 8 nations combined

President Obama said, "We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined." Is that literally true? We found the answer on Wikipedia, for the top 9 countries in military expenditures (in billions per year):
  1. $581B United States
  2. $129B China
  3. $81B Saudi Arabia
  4. $70B Russia
  5. $62B United Kingdom
  6. $53B France
  7. $48B Japan
  8. $45B India
  9. $44B Germany

The "next eight nations combined" add up to $532 billion annual military expenditures. Compare that to the U.S.'s annual total of $581 billion, and Pres. Obama is accurate. (Sen. Rand Paul said in 2015 the same statement about "the next ten countries combined," and we rated his statement "loosely accurate", but Obama could have gone up to "the next nine nations combined" adding in South Korea's $34B). Obama's point was the same as Paul's: the U.S. has by far the strongest military on earth, and we need not increase military spending to maintain our military dominance.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2016 State of the Union: OnTheIssues FactCheck

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jan 12, 2016
Talk of economic decline & military weakness is just hot air

A big question that we have to answer together is how to keep America safe and strong without either isolating ourselves or trying to nation- build everywhere there's a problem. All the talk of America's economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. Let me tell you something. The United States is the most powerful nation on Earth, period. Period. It's not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world.

No nation attacks us directly or our allies because they know that's the path to ruin. Surveys show our standing around the world is higher than when I was elected to this office, and when it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead. They call us. So I think it's useful to level set here, because when we don't, we don't make good decisions.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2016 State of the Union address

Lindsey Graham on War & Peace : Dec 15, 2015
10,000 US troops in Iraq; 10,000 in Syria; plus 90,000 Arabs

Q: I just want to remind our viewers, you want 10,000 U.S. ground troops in Iraq, and 10,000 in Syria?

GRAHAM: Yeah. I just don't make this up; I talk to people who are combat trained who have won in Iraq who I trust. Here's what I want to tell the Arab world and Turkey. We're not going to send 100,000 troops. You're going to do the fighting this time and we're gonna help you. We paid for the last two wars, you're gonna pay for this one. They get it because ISIL wants to cut their heads off, too. [The Turks and Arabs] have modern armies: 90% them, 10% us, and we go in and destroy the caliphate. The point I'm trying to make is, there needs to be a ground component. We need to be smart, and we need to fight the war over there. And to the people in my party who believe you can withdraw from the battlefield like Senator Cruz and Paul and we be safe, you really don't understand this war.

Click for Lindsey Graham on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : Nov 14, 2015
Adversaries of the future: terrorists as well as drone subs

Sen. SANDERS: We're spending over $600 billion a year on the military and yet, significantly less than 10% of that money is used to be fighting international terrorism.

Gov. O'MALLEY: This is a new era of conflict where traditional ways of huge standing armies do not serve our purposes as well as special ops, better intelligence and being more proactive.

Secretary CLINTON: We do have to take a hard look at the defense budget and we do have to figure out how we get ready to fight the adversaries of the future, not the past. But we have to also be very clear that we do have some continuing challenges. We've got challenges in the South China Sea because of what China is doing in building up military installations. We have problems with Russia: they allowed a TV camera to see the plans for a drone submarine that could carry a tactical nuclear weapon. So we've got to look at the full range and then come to some smart decisions about having more streamlined and focused approach.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2015 CBS Democratic primary debate in Iowa

Martin O`Malley on Homeland Security : Nov 14, 2015
Nature of warfare has changed: focus on intel, not armies

Sen. SANDERS: We're spending over $600 billion a year on the military and yet, significantly less than 10% of that money is used to be fighting international terrorism. The Cold War is over. And our focus has got to be on intelligence, increased manpower, fighting international targets.

Gov. O'MALLEY: The nature of warfare has changed. [The war on terror] is not a conflict where we send in the third divisions of Marines. This is a new era of conflict where traditional ways of huge standing armies do not serve our purposes as well as special ops, better intelligence and being more proactive.

Secretary CLINTON: We do have to take a hard look at the defense budget and we do have to figure out how we get ready to fight the adversaries of the future, not the past. But we have to also be very clear that we do have some continuing challenges.

Click for Martin O`Malley on other issues.   Source: 2015 CBS Democratic primary debate in Iowa

Bernie Sanders on Homeland Security : Nov 14, 2015
We spend billions on nuclear weapons & only 10% on terrorism

Sen. SANDERS: This nation is the most powerful military in the world. We're spending over $600 billion a year on the military and yet, significantly less than 10% of that money is used to be fighting international terrorism. We are spending hundreds of billions of dollars maintaining 5,000 nuclear weapons. I think we need major reform in the military, making it more cost effective, but also focusing on the real crisis that faces us. The Cold War is over. And our focus has got to be on intelligence, increased manpower, fighting international targets.

Gov. O'MALLEY: The nature of warfare has changed. This is a new era of conflict where traditional ways of huge standing armies do not serve our purposes as well as special ops & better intelligence.

Secretary CLINTON: We do have to take a hard look at the defense budget and we do have to figure out how we get ready to fight the adversaries of the future, not the past. But we have to also be very clear that we do have some continuing challenges.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 CBS Democratic primary debate in Iowa

Jeb Bush on Homeland Security : Nov 10, 2015
We don't need a divider-in-chief: rebuild the V.A.

Jane Horton is sitting with my wife here today. Her husband, Chris, was killed in action in Afghanistan. And Jane spends her time now defending and fighting for military families. They're both heroes. I don't think we need an agitator-in-chief or a divider-in-chief. We need a commander-in-chief that will rebuild our military and restore respect to our veterans by revamping and fixing a broken Veterans Administration, That's my pledge to you. I ask for your support. Thank you.
Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate

Marco Rubio on Homeland Security : Nov 10, 2015
World is safer when America is the strongest military power

Sen. Rand PAUL: Rubio's plan for $1 trillion in new military spending--you get something that looks, to me, not very conservative.

RUBIO: I do want to rebuild the American military.

PAUL: How is it conservative?

RUBIO: I know that Rand is a committed isolationist. I'm not. I believe the world is a stronger and a better place, when the US is the strongest military power in the world.

PAUL: Yeah, but, Marco, you can not be a conservative if you're going to keep promoting new programs that you're not going to pay for.

RUBIO: We can't even have an economy if we're not safe. There are radical jihadist in the Middle East beheading people and crucifying Christians. A radical Shia cleric in Iran trying to get a nuclear weapon, the Chinese taking over the South China Sea. Yes, I believe the world is a safer--no, I don't believe, I know that the world is a safer place when America is the strongest military power in the world.

PAUL: No. I don't think we are any safer from bankruptcy court.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : Nov 10, 2015
FactCheck: Yes, military spending as much as next 10 nations

Senator Rand Paul said, "We need a safe country, but, you know, we spend more on our military than the next ten countries combined. I want a strong national defense, but I don't want us to be bankrupt." Is that literally true? We found the answer on Wikipedia, for the top 11 countries in military expenditures (in billions per year):
  1. $581B United States
  2. $129B China
  3. $81B Saudi Arabia
  4. $70B Russia
  5. $62B United Kingdom
  6. $53B France
  7. $48B Japan
  8. $45B India
  9. $44B Germany
  10. $34B South Korea
  11. $32B Brazil

The "next ten countries combined" add up to $598 billion annual military expenditures. Compare that to the U.S.'s annual total of $581 billion, and Sen. Paul is pretty much correct. He spoke a bit loosely, saying "we spend MORE than the next ten countries combined," when he should have said "we spend A COMPARABLE AMOUNT to the next ten countries combined." But we rate his statement as ACCURATE.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on Fox Business/WSJ debate

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : Nov 10, 2015
How is it conservative to add $1T in military expenditures?

PAUL: We have to decide what is conservative and what isn't conservative. Is it fiscally conservative to have a trillion-dollar expenditure? Marco Rubio's plan for $1 trillion in new military spending--you get something that looks, to me, not very conservative.

RUBIO: I do want to rebuild the American military. I believe the world is a stronger and a better place, when the US is the strongest military power in the world.

PAUL: Yeah, but, Marco! How is it conservative to add a trillion-dollars in military expenditures? You can not be a conservative if you're going to keep promoting new programs that you're not going to pay for.

RUBIO: We can't even have an economy if we're not safe.

PAUL: No. I don't think we are any safer from bankruptcy

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Nov 3, 2015
VA is one of the most incompetently-run agencies

The Department of Veterans Affairs ( VA) is probably the most incompetently run agency in the United States government. And that's saying something. The problem is that there are too many political people involved within its operation.

The taxpayers pay more than $150 billion a year for the VA, and what do we get for that? Right now, the VA is being run by people who don't know what they're doing. They're getting more money from the government than ever before and yet the care gets worse. The list of men and women waiting for care is growing and their wait times are longer. How can the VA possibly be so inefficient? We need to put people in charge who know how to run big operations. We have to get the best managers and give them the power, the money, and the tools to get the job done. We owe our veterans nothing less.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p.106-7

Lawrence Lessig on Homeland Security : Oct 29, 2015
The size of our own defense budget induces instability

We must recognize the instability that we induce by the very size and nature of our own defense budget. Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex. His original term was even better: the military-industrial-congressional complex. That complex creates enormous pressure for us to spend money on weapons of war. It puts enormous pressure on the United States government to encourage or at least tolerate the sale of weapons in contexts that could not induce peace. And it continues to put pressure on our government to spend money in ways that cannot help our long term security. The wars of tomorrow won't be fought in Bradley tanks, regardless of what the lobbyists say. Which is why, once again, we must pass The First Reform, and secure a Congress free to lead.
Click for Lawrence Lessig on other issues.   Source: 2016 presidential campaign website Lessig2016.us, `Issues`

Lindsey Graham on Homeland Security : Oct 28, 2015
Problems in V.A. are real; threats to homeland are real

Q: What about national security spending in the 2015 budget deal?

GRAHAM: Without national security, there is no economic security. Without the sacrifice of the veteran, all of our hopes and dreams are at risk. Hillary Clinton said that the problems with the V.A. are being exaggerated by Republicans. They are not; they are real.

Q: Gov. Jindal calls the 2015 budget deal a "phony deal, it doesn't do anything."

GRAHAM: Well, let me tell you what is real. The threat to our homeland. I've never seen so many threats to our homeland. There are more terrorist organizations with safe havens to attack the American homeland than anytime since 9/11. We're in the process of reducing our defense spending by half. I am looking at this budget with one view in mind, will it restore the ability to defend this nation. We're on track to have the smallest army since 1940, the smallest navy since 1915, this budget, if it is paid for, will put $40 billion dollars back in the defense department at a time we need it.

Click for Lindsey Graham on other issues.   Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 2nd-tier debate

Jill Stein on Homeland Security : Oct 14, 2015
Immediate weapons embargo to the Middle East

We are challenging the establishment parties' silence on crucial life-or-death issues.In foreign policy, only our campaign is calling for an immediate weapons embargo to the Middle East and an end to drone warfare. Only our campaign calls for ending financial support for governments violating human rights and committing war crimes, including Israel and Saudi Arabia. We are the only campaign to call for cutting U.S. military spending at least 50%. And leading on global nuclear disarmament.
Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: Green Party response to 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate

Bernie Sanders on Homeland Security : Oct 13, 2015
I pushed bill for $15B for veterans' healthcare services

What we did is pass a $15 billion dollar piece of legislation which brought in many new doctors and nurses into the V.A. so that veterans could get health care when they needed it, and not be on long waiting lines. The other part of that legislation said that if a veteran is living more than 40 miles away from a V.A. facility, that veteran could get health care from the community health center or the private sector.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

John Kasich on Homeland Security : Sep 20, 2015
Expand voucher program for veterans' healthcare

Q: Dr. Ben Carson has called for essentially closing the VA and folding in most health care for veterans into the Pentagon. Do you think that plan would work? What would you do?

A: I first of all think that we need to expand the voucher program so a veteran can get the health care they need as soon as they can possibly get it and should not be just limited to the VA hospitals. Secondly, my sense is you're going to have to decentralize the VA.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Sep 20, 2015
Fix veteran's hospitals, and pay private doctors for them

Q: You said that you would build more hospitals for veterans--is there anything else you would do?

A: One of the things I would do is fix the hospitals. What I'm going to do is make sure that they will be able to go out and use private doctors and we will pay the private doctors. We're going to do a bit of a free market thing so that veterans can get immediate service and good treatment.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Carly Fiorina on Homeland Security : Sep 16, 2015
We need strongest military & that whole world knows it

Let's talk about the future. We need the strongest military on the face of the planet, and everyone has to know it. And, specifically, what that means is we need about 50 Army brigades, we need about 36 Marine battalions, we need somewhere between 300 and 350 naval ships, we need to upgrade every leg of the nuclear triad. We need to reform the Department of Defense, we need to invest in our military technology, and we need to care for our veterans so 307,000 aren't dying waiting for health care.
Click for Carly Fiorina on other issues.   Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN

Tim Kaine on Homeland Security : Sep 16, 2015
Help "Blue Water" veterans harmed by Agent Orange

Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to ensure thousands of Navy veterans from the Vietnam War, known as "Blue Water" veterans for their service in waters off the coast, who were exposed to the powerful toxin Agent Orange will be eligible to receive disability and health care benefits they have earned for diseases linked to Agent Orange exposure. The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act would clarify existing law so that Blue Water veterans would be fully covered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if they served within the "territorial seas," or approximately 12 miles offshore, of Vietnam. The bill would make it easier for the VA to process Vietnam War veterans' claims for service-connected conditions and alleviate a portion of the VA's backlog by reinstating presumptive coverage of Agent Orange benefits to these veterans.
Click for Tim Kaine on other issues.   Source: Kaine's Senate office website, during 2016 Veepstakes

John Kasich on War & Peace : Sep 13, 2015
I'm a "cheap hawk": Cut Pentagon waste, but not spending

Q: On defense spending, You say there are 900,000 people helping run the Pentagon who have no direct line authority, but on the other hand, you say you'd like to see an end to spending caps on Pentagon spending. Those two seem in contradiction.

KASICH: I think we absolutely have to spend more on defense. It's one of the essential purposes of the federal government. But I have served on defense for 18 years and being able to witness the waste, the duplication, the red tape, the slowdown, we don't want to spend money there that goes in the bureaucracy and delay that could go into building a stronger defense. There's no inconsistency there: reform the Pentagon, strengthen the military. That's why I call myself the cheap hawk.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Bernie Sanders on Homeland Security : Sep 5, 2015
Costs of endless war detract from citizens' well-being

Q: What does Bernie believe about current levels of defense spending?

A: While Bernie appreciates a strong defense system, he has also views the cost of endless wars and tremendous peacetime defense spending as detracting from facing "some of the most pressing economic issues affecting the well-being of ordinary Americans." Bernie firmly rejects any increase to defense spending at the cost of cuts to domestic social spending.

Q: Why is Bernie so concerned with the defense budget?

A: Bernie sees a lack of accountability on defense spending. Explaining his "no" vote on the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which set the military's budget at $560 billion, Bernie expressed concern that "the military is unable to even account for how it spends all of its money." Bernie also voted against the 2012 and 2013 defense authorization bills, voicing alarm at the size of the defense budget despite the US having withdrawn all military members from Iraq.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues"

Ben Carson on Homeland Security : Aug 6, 2015
Our armed forces are at smallest size in decades

We have weakened ourselves militarily to such an extent that if affects all of our military policies. Our Navy is at its smallest size since 1917; our Air Force, since 1940. In recent testimony, the commandant of the Marine Corps said half of the non- deployed units were not ready and you know, the sequester is cutting the heart out of our personnel. Our generals are retiring because they don't want to be part of this, and at the same time, our enemies are increasing.

Our friends can't trust us anymore. You know, Ukraine was a nuclear-armed state. They gave away their nuclear arms with the understanding that we would protect them. We won't even give them offensive weapons.

We turned our back on Israel, our ally. In a situation like [military action after Syria crossed the "redline" of chemical weapons], of course Obama's not going to be able to do anything. I would shore up our military first, because if you don't get the military right, nothing else is going to work.

Click for Ben Carson on other issues.   Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript

Marco Rubio on Homeland Security : Aug 6, 2015
Empower V.A. to care more about vets than bureaucrats

Q: What are you going to do for our nation's veterans?

RUBIO: God has blessed America with young men and women willing to risk their lives and sometimes die in uniform for the safety and security of our people. Unfortunately today we have a VA that does not do enough for them. I am proud that last year we helped change the law. We changed the law to give the power to the VA secretary the ability to fire any executive that isn't doing their job. And it is outrageous they've only fired one person to date. When I'm president of the United States, we're going to have a VA that cares more about our veterans than about the bureaucrats who work at the VA.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript

Jill Stein on Homeland Security : Jun 25, 2015
700+ foreign military bases are bankrupting us

Peace and Human Rights: Establish a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights. End the wars and drone attacks, cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases that are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire. Stop U.S. support and arms sales to human rights abusers, and lead on global nuclear disarmament.
Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, jill2016.com, "Plan"

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Jun 16, 2015
Increased Veterans Day parade audience from 100 to 1 million

Trump has long been a devoted supporter of veteran causes. In 1995, the fiftieth anniversary of World War II, only 100 spectators watched New York City's Veteran Day Parade. It was an insult to all veterans. Approached by Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the chief of New York City's FBI office, Trump agreed to lead as Grand Marshall a second parade later that year. Mr. Trump made a $1 million matching donation to finance the Nation's Day Parade. On Saturday, November 11th, over 1.4 million watched as Trump marched down Fifth Avenue with more than 25,000 veterans, some dressed in their vintage uniforms. A month later, Trump was honored in the Pentagon during a lunch with the Secretary of Defense and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, DonaldJTrump.com

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : May 17, 2015
Focus NSA surveillance on threats, not innocent Americans

Q: You're so critical of the NSA in your book. Would you eliminate it if you were president?

PAUL: No, I would actually keep the NSA. In fact, I would have the NSA target their activities, more and more, towards our enemies. I think if you're not spending so much time and money collecting the information of innocent Americans, maybe we could've spent more time knowing that one of the Tsarnaev boys, one of the Boston bombers, had gone back to Chechnya. We didn't know that, even though we'd been tipped off by the Russians. We had communicated, we had interviewed him, and still didn't know that. Same with the recent jihadist from Phoenix that traveled to Texas, and the shooting in Garland; we knew him. We had investigated him and put him in jail. I want to spend more time on people we have suspicion of, and we have probable cause of, and less time on innocent Americans. It distracts us from the job of getting terrorists.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Bernie Sanders on Homeland Security : Apr 30, 2015
Cut defense by $18B to pay for 55% of all college tuition

If the federal government were to invest $18 billion a year, with a dollar-for-dollar match from state governments, we would slash college tuition in the United States by more than half. Many of my colleagues in Washington would look at that number-- $18 billion a year--and tell you that we can't afford to make that kind of investment in our nation's young people. To put it simply, they are wrong. In the budget proposal President Obama released two weeks ago, he requested $561 billion for the Department of Defense--$38 billion over budget caps that are currently in place. If we were to reduce the President's proposed increase in military spending by less than half, and instead invest that money in educational opportunities for today's college students, we could cut tuition by 55%. So I challenge all of you. ask yourselves, where should our priorities lie?
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Forbes Magazine on 2016 hopefuls: 2015 speech at U. Iowa

Bernie Sanders on Homeland Security : Apr 19, 2015
We need a strong military, but stop wasting tens of billions

Q: You want a 50% cut in military spending at a time when ISIS and al Qaeda are on the march--

SANDERS: What I do believe is that there is enormous waste in military. The Department of Defense can't even audit itself--massive cost overruns. Of course, ISIS is a terrible organization that has to be defeated. And, of course, we need a strong military. But just as with every other agency of government, you know what, the military also has got to get rid of waste and fraud and cost overruns. So, I want a strong military. But I do not believe, among other things, that without an audit, we should be throwing tens of billions of dollars more into the Department of Defense.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : Apr 12, 2015
2010: decrease DOD budget by $164B; 2015: increase by $190B

Q: When you first came to the Senate, you proposed decreasing defense spending by about $164 billion, but in the past couple of weeks, you have proposed increasing by $190 billion. Why the change?

PAUL: I have proposed several 5-year budgets. And for me, the most important thing of the 5-year budgets has been to balance. The last one I produced did actually increase defense spending above the military sequester. But I did it by taking money from domestic spending. My belief has always been that national defense is the most important thing we do, but we shouldn't borrow to pay for it.

Q: But by proposing an increase in military spending before you announce for president, it could look like pandering.

PAUL: Well, 3 or 4 years ago, we did the same thing. So we have been for quite some time proposing increases in military spending, but always the point is that I believe any increase in spending should be offset by decreases in spending somewhere else.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : Apr 7, 2015
Provide veterans support tools to adjust to civilian life

As a physician, it is particularly upsetting to me when I hear of bad experiences our veterans have had with the Department of Veterans Affairs. These experiences represent a failure of one of our most basic obligations - to provide for those who have worn the uniform and shouldered the burdens of war.

We owe it to the men and women who have served in combat to provide them with quality care for injuries sustained in defense of this nation. We must provide our veterans the necessary support tools as they adjust back to civilian life.

We consider all veterans, service members and their families to be an important part of our local communities. As President, I will continue to support veterans and service members of this country. It is my strong belief that we must protect those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our nation.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, RandPaul.com, "Issues"

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : Mar 27, 2015
$76B in defense spending via cuts to EPA, HUD & foreign aid

Rand Paul is completing an about-face on a longstanding pledge to curb the growth in defense spending. Paul introduced a budget amendment calling for a nearly $190 billion infusion to the defense budget over the next two years--a roughly 16% increase. Paul's amendment brings him in line with his likely presidential primary rivals.

The move completes a stunning reversal for Paul, who in May 2011, released his own budget that would have slashed the Pentagon, a sacred cow for many Republicans. Under Paul's original proposal, defense spending would have dropped from $553 billion in 2011 to $542 billion in 2016. But under Paul's new plan, the Pentagon will see its budget authority swell by $76 billion to $696 billion in fiscal year 2016. The boost would be offset by a $106 billion cut to funding for aid to foreign governments, climate change research and reductions to the budgets of the EPA, HUD, and the departments of Commerce and Education.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Time magazine 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Marco Rubio on Homeland Security : Mar 24, 2015
Defense spending is most important federal obligation

I believe defense spending is the most important obligation of the federal government. That doesn't mean we throw money away, or we put money in places where it doesn't belong or we fund projects that have no utility. But it does mean that the most important thing the federal government does for America is defend it.

There have been times in our history when we've tried to save money by cutting back on defense spending. Interesting to point out that in times in the past we've taken what they call a peace dividend--in essence, this idea that the world is no longer unstable or unsafe, and we can now spend less on defense--each and every time, we've had to come back and make up for it later as a new threat emerged. I don't think we can make the argument that this is a time when the world is stable or peaceful, and yet this is a time of dramatic reductions of defense spending. This is the worst possible time to be reducing our defense spending and yet that is what we are doing.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Rubio Senate Floor Speech "Defense Spending" (Press release)

Marco Rubio on Homeland Security : Mar 24, 2015
Modernize military to be used 10 years in the future

When we talk about modernization, we are not talking about the commander in chief today. When we decide how much money we're going to spend on modernizing our military capabilities, what we're deciding is what are the technologies and tools that are going to be available to a future commander in chief in 5, 10 or 15 years. These innovative systems that we use today, that have cut down on civilian casualties, that have allowed to improve our targeting, our intelligence-gathering capabilities, that have made the United States the premier fighting force in all of human history--all of those things were developed a decade ago or longer through years of experimentation and testing, through innovation. So if we cut back on that now in ten years, a future commander in chief will be faced with a threat to our national security, and we will not have the latest, greatest technology on the planet to address it.
Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Rubio Senate Floor Speech "Defense Spending" (Press release)

Mike Pence on Homeland Security : Feb 28, 2015
The time has come to dramatically increase defense spending

Pence said that the 2016 election could turn on foreign policy thanks to the missteps of the Obama administration, and called on conservatives to embrace "America's role as leader of the free world."

"I believe the time has come to dramatically increase defense spending to confront the unknowable and knowable threats," Pence said. "Without rebuilding our military, no strategy or innovation, no matter how brilliant, will be sufficient to protect the American people and the sovereignty of the US.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: Washington Times on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf.

Sarah Palin on Homeland Security : Feb 27, 2015
Let veterans apply skills to skip state certification

Palin addressed CPAC with a speech that dealt with the plight of veterans, delicately weaving in her own role as the mother of a soldier: "America hands over her sons and her daughters in service with the promise that they're going to be taken care of. Our troops are promised that a grateful nation will spare no expense to patch them up and bring them back to health when wounded," Palin said. "Well we, their mothers and their fathers and their husbands and their wives, we're here to collect on the promises made."

She noted the lack of services for veterans and said the best way to honor them is by helping them.

She floated a policy idea--using the skills veterans have learned in the military, say computer programming, and sparing them the requirement to get some kind of certification when, in fact, they already have the necessary skills. She discussed making veterans benefits permanent and less subject to the whims of Congress.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Newsweek on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf.

Sarah Palin on Homeland Security : Feb 26, 2015
Dozens of veterans per day commit suicide; VA should help

Palin used her speech at CPAC to focus on veterans' issues. Palin spoke about the numerous challenges that many veterans face once they return home from war, including post-traumatic stress disorder, unemployment, divorce and suicide: "As we gather here, we're safe, we're secure, we're having fun, four days together at a conference. In those four days, 92 of our veterans will have taken their lives," she told her audience.

The former vice presidential candidate also said that veterans weren't receiving the care that they needed from the Veterans Affairs Department and alluded to the scandal over long waiting times for appointments at VA hospitals: "America hands over her sons and her daughters with the promise that they're going to be taken care of," Palin said. "We can't wait for D.C. to fix their bureaucratic blunders. This bureaucracy is killing our vets. They wait for months, they wait for years to get treatment at the VA, and they're losing hope."

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Huffington Post on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf.

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jan 20, 2015
Finish the job: it's time to close Gitmo

As Americans, we have a profound commitment to justice--so it makes no sense to spend three million dollars per prisoner to keep open a prison that the world condemns and terrorists use to recruit. Since I've been President, we've worked responsibly to cut the population of GTMO in half. Now it's time to finish the job. And I will not relent in my determination to shut it down. It's not who we are.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2015 State of the Union address

Ted Cruz on War & Peace : Oct 19, 2014
Bomb ISIS back to the Stone Age

Q: In the US-led air assault against ISIS, you said we ought to "bomb them back to the Stone Age." It does not appear that bombing alone is going to make that happen, that ISIS will not disappear with a US-led air assault. That being the case, where do you see the role, if any, of US military personnel?

CRUZ: Well, unfortunately, the approach of the Obama administration to ISIS has been fundamentally unserious. We have dropped a bomb here, a missile there, but it has really been a photo op foreign policy. What we need is a concentrated, directive military objective to take ISIS out. Now, what does that entail? A far more vigorous air campaign than we're seeing. We're dropping a fraction of the ordnance that we have in other campaigns such as Afghanistan.

Q: Do you think it will involve US troops?

CRUZ: Well, there are over 1,500 on the ground right now. But we have a tremendous asset on the ground right now, which is the Kurds, [whom we should arm].

Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2014 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Jill Stein on Homeland Security : Jul 31, 2014
Burden of fighting is borne by families of lesser means

GI and Veterans' Rights: Support for men and women in the armed forces must go far beyond the rhetoric used to discredit the peace movement in the U.S. today. We believe that the ill-advised and illegal actions of the U.S. administration have unnecessarily put our troops in harm's way. We further believe that the dangerous burden of fighting the unnecessary war in Iraq, and the wars that may follow, due to the administration's overly narrow and militaristic response to terrorism is disproportionately borne by families of lesser means. Those who are required to carry out militaristic policies, often with great hardship to themselves, their families, and even the risk of their lives, deserve our respect and our commitment to adequate compensation and benefits.
Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: Green Party of the United States National Platform

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : Jun 22, 2014
Benghazi disqualifies Hillary from the presidency

Q: On Hillary Clinton, you said, "she will be made to pay for Benghazi." How?

PAUL: She will have to explain how she can be commander and chief when she was not responsive to multiple requests for more security in the six months leading up. She wouldn't approve a 16-person personnel team and she would not approve an airplane to help them get around the country. In the last 24 hours, a plane was very important and it was not available. These are really serious questions beyond talking points that occurred under her watch.

Q: Benghazi is disqualifying for her?

PAUL: I think so. The American people want a commander-in-chief that will send reinforcements, that will defend the country, and that will provide the adequate security. And I think in the moment of need--a long moment, a six-month moment--she wasn't there.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Lindsey Graham on War & Peace : Jun 15, 2014
ISIS makes Iraq & Syria the staging area for the next 9/11

Q: On the issue of Iraq, the toll so far: 4,424 deaths, 32,239 wounded, and then the cost of money, $770 billion. Why spend one more dollar or risk one more life?

GRAHAM: Because Iraq and Syria combined are going to be the staging area for the next 9/11 if we don't do something about it. The people holding ground in Iraq also hold ground in Syria. [We must attack ISIS to] stop the march on Baghdad. Form a new government. Send Petraeus and Crocker over, somebody who knows [what to do].

Click for Lindsey Graham on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : May 30, 2014
Benghazi security was simply inadequate in a dangerous city

On the Accountability Review Board investigation into the Benghazi attacks: Clinton writes that the security upgrades to the Benghazi compound were "simply inadequate in an increasingly dangerous city." She notes that Benghazi compound personnel felt their requests for additional security were not given adequate weight by the US Embassy in Tripoli, a point Republicans have argued does not absolve Clinton since those officials report to her. Clinton reiterates that she never saw cables requesting additional security. The cables were addressed to her as a "procedural quirk" given her position, but didn't actually land on her desk, she writes: "That's not how it works. It shouldn't. And it didn't."

On the claim that the investigation of the attack was rigged since Clinton appointed some of the Board members and she was not interviewed, she writes that they "had unfettered access to anyone and anything they thought relevant to their investigation, including me if they had chosen to do so."

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, Politico.com excerpts

Bernie Sanders on Homeland Security : May 25, 2014
V.A. doesn't have resources to accommodate 2 million vets

Q: All of a sudden we're learning of these wait times, of veterans who are dying while waiting.

SANDERS: Clearly, there are incompetent administrators. But I think one point that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. If you speak to veterans organizations, they will tell you that, by and large, the quality of care that veterans receive in VA hospitals around this country is good to excellent.

Q: Sure, but, if you can't get in, it doesn't do any good that it's great care.

SANDERS: That is quite right. The VA has established a self-imposed goal of getting people into the system in 14 days. That's pretty ambitious. That's more ambitious in general than the private sector. And I think there are places around the country where they simply do not have the resources to accommodate the fact that two million more people have come into the system in recent years. And I think some people may be cooking the books to make it look like they're accommodating people in 14 days.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2014 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Elizabeth Warren on Homeland Security : Apr 22, 2014
Address predatory lending targeting young military enlistees

[I wanted to address] the vulnerability of the youngest in service, kids fresh out of high school who were picking up the first regular paychecks in their lives. Young soldiers became targets for a number of aggressive scams. Once the young soldiers arrived on base, they ran a gauntlet of pretty young women to flirt and sell them on installment loans that charged 100% interest or more. Just sign here, sweetie.

A bad debt could ruin not just a service member's credit score, but also the person's career. Not paying a debt is deemed "dishonorable conduct," a black mark that can cause soldiers to lose out on security clearance. In 2006, the Department of Defense studied predatory lending that targeted service members and concluded that such lending "undermines military readiness." The scam artists and predatory lenders who targeted our men and women in uniform were a national disgrace. The consumer agency needed to make fixing this problem a priority.

Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: A Fighting Chance, by Elizabeth Warren, p.189-91

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : Apr 13, 2014
National defense is important, but no blank check

Q: You were against the resolution on Iran and nuclear weapons. On these issues you are more closely associated with the left.

PAUL: I think that's an incorrect conclusion, you know. I would say my foreign policy is right there with what came out of Ronald Reagan.

Q: But Reagan went through a huge defense buildup. One of the first things you did when you got elected was propose a nearly $50 billion cut to the Pentagon, bigger than the sequester.

PAUL: The sequester actually didn't cut spending; the sequester cut the rate of growth of spending over 10 years.

Q: But the point is you proposed curbing defense spending more than the sequester.

PAUL: Even though I believe national defense is the most important thing we do, but it isn't a blank check. Some conservatives think, oh, give them whatever they want and that everything is for our soldiers and they play up this patriotism that--oh, we don't have to control defense spending. We can't be a trillion dollars in the hole every year.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2014 series of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : Mar 11, 2014
Deploy missile defense in Eastern Europe but they pay for it

Paul defended his foreign policy, which tends to be less interventionist than other Republicans': "I think on a lot of these issues, yes, that I'm well within the Republican tradition," Paul said. "I think that we do need to have a stronger presence and project stronger ideas of cultivating freedom around the world. And I also agree, though, with Ronald Reagan, who often said, or in one of his inaugural speeches said to potential adversaries, Don't mistake our reluctance for war for a lack of resolve.'" Paul said he favored sanctions against Russia and the deployment of a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, but that "Europe should pay for it."

Paul's remarks were at least a change in tone from last month, when he said that, "Some on our side are so stuck in the Cold War era that they want to tweak Russia all the time and I don't think that is a good idea."

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: The Hill weblog 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Ted Cruz on Homeland Security : Mar 4, 2014
Suspend Russia from G8 & withdraw from arms control treaties

Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: Foreign Policy magazine article by Ted Cruz

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Mar 15, 2013
Take $1.5T in oil from Iraq to pay for US victims

Mr. Trump said that the United States should "take" $1.5 trillion worth of oil from Iraq to pay for the cost of the war and give $1 million to each of the families that lost someone in the effort-- sparking applause from the thousands gathered for the American Conservative Union's 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf. in Washington Times

Lindsey Graham on Homeland Security : Mar 3, 2013
Cuts to military systems will leave us with a hollow force

Q: You've got the cuts that sequestration ordered. Why not keep those cuts but give the President the flexibility to decide where within each of his departments those cuts will come?

Sen. McCAIN (R-AZ): As Lindsey gave you the numbers, there are disproportionate cuts to defense. Defense is 19% of the discretionary spending. It's taken 50% of the cuts.

Q: But wouldn't that be a way to start, though?

GRAHAM: Here's why it won't work. We're taking $45 billion a year out of the Defense Department over the next decade. At the end of the decade, we're going to have the smallest Navy since 1915, 232 ships. We're going to have the smallest Air Force in history; the smallest Army since 1940. Our defense spending will be below 3% of GDP. We will have a hollow force. Personnel costs are exempted from sequestration. So you take all the systems, except military pay, and over a decade, you destroy the Defense Department. There is no amount of flexibility in the world will fix this.

Click for Lindsey Graham on other issues.   Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 on 2014 South Carolina Senate race

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Feb 2, 2013
Intel support against extremism in Mali and North Africa

Today, across North Africa and in parts of the Middle East, extremists are seeking to exploit the following: increasingly porous borders; a broad swath of ungoverned territory; readily available weapons; new governments that lack the capacity to contend with extremism; a swelling generation of disaffected young people.

This is not a call to spend tens of billions of dollars and deploy thousands and tens of thousands of boots on the ground, as once occurred. It requires a more integrated strategy, a more coordinated strategy.

It will take a comprehensive approach--employing the full range of the tools at our disposal--including our militaries. That's why the US applauds and stands with France and other partners in Mali, and why we are providing intelligence support, transportation for the French and African troops and refueling capability for French aircraft. The fight against AQIM may be far from America's borders, but it is fundamentally in America's interest.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Speech at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany

Jill Stein on Homeland Security : Oct 22, 2012
Switch from bloated military to spending at home

ROMNEY: I will not cut our military budget by a trillion dollars, which is a combination of the budget cuts that the president has, as well as the sequestration cuts.

OBAMA: The sequester is not something that I proposed. It's something that Congress has proposed. It will not happen. The budget that we're talking about is not reducing our military spending; it's maintaining it.

STEIN: I think they both made the case for us, that the numbers just don't add up. We cannot continue spending a trillion dollars a year on this bloated military-industrial-security complex without having to really pay the price here at home. These are the ways that we should be spending our tax dollars, not on the military, but on what we need here at home. And by conserving those dollars instead of squandering them, we can actually spend them on the things that we need, on bailing out the students and on creating public higher education, which is free, tuition-free, the way that it should be.

Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: Democracy Now! Expanded Third Obama-Romney 2012 debate

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Oct 22, 2012
Don't give military money that they're not asking for

Q: Governor, you say you want a bigger military. Where are you going to get the money?

ROMNEY: First of all, we're going to cut about 5% of the discretionary budget excluding military.

Q: Can you do this without driving us deeper into debt?

OBAMA: Gov. Romney's called for $5 trillion of tax cuts that he says he's going to pay for by closing deductions. He then wants to spend another $2 trillion on military spending that our military's not asking for. Now, keep in mind that our military spending has gone up every single year that I've been in office. We spend more on our military than the next 10 countries combined--China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, you name it, next 10. And what I did was work with our Joint Chiefs of Staff to think about what are we going to need in the future to make sure that we are safe? And that's the budget that we've put forward. But what you can't do is spend $2 trillion in additional military spending that the military is not asking for.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Third Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate

Joe Biden on Homeland Security : Oct 11, 2012
Special Forces instead of M1 tanks

Q: How you do the budget math and have this increase in defense spending?

RYAN: You don't cut defense by a trillion dollars.

BIDEN: Who's cutting it by a trillion?

RYAN: We're going to cut 80,000 soldiers, 20,000 Marines, 120 cargo planes. We're going to push the Joint Strike Fighter out. We're cutting missile defense. If these cuts go through, our Navy will be the smallest it has been since before World War I. This invites weakness.

BIDEN: Look, we don't cut it. The military says, we need a smaller, leaner Army. We need more special forces. We don't need more M1 tanks. What we need is more UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called "drones"]. That was the decision of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recommended to us and agreed to by the president.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate

Elizabeth Warren on Homeland Security : Oct 11, 2012
Reduce size of standing army to reduce deficit

Warren portrayed herself as someone who was being honest and realistic when she said she would "raise revenues," a euphemism for taxes, and would even cut the military budget and redirect spending to education programs and improvements in the nation's infrastructure.

Only late in the debate did Warren try to explain why and how she would cut the military budget. She said that Brown's determination not to raise taxes meant that the budget would not be balanced and the deficit would not be reduced, which would lead to across-the-board cuts in all agencies. She would rather make planned cuts, such as by reducing the size of the standing army, she said, than allow across-the-board cuts that could hurt needed programs.

Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: N.Y. Times on 2012 Mass. Senate debates

Joe Biden on Homeland Security : Oct 11, 2012
Caring for veterans is our only sacred obligation

BIDEN: We only have one truly sacred obligation as a government. That's to equip those we send into harm's way and care for those who come home. That's the only sacred obligation we have. Everything else falls behind that. [Veterans] should be honored; not be thrown into a category of the 47% who don't pay their taxes.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate

Paul Ryan on Homeland Security : Oct 11, 2012
We shouldn't cut 80,000 soldiers; it invites weakness

Q: How you do the budget math and have this increase in defense spending?

RYAN: You don't cut defense by a trillion dollars.

BIDEN: Who's cutting it by a trillion?

RYAN: We're going to cut 80,000 soldiers, 20,000 Marines, 120 cargo planes. We're going to push the Joint Strike Fighter out. We're cutting missile defense. If these cuts go through, our Navy will be the smallest it has been since before World War I. This invites weakness. Look, do we believe in peace through strength? You bet we do. And that means you don't impose these devastating cuts on our military. So we're saying don't cut the military by a trillion dollars, not increase it by a trillion, don't cut it by a trillion dollars.

BIDEN: Look, we don't cut it. This "sequester," this automatic cut--that was part of a debt deal that they asked for. [Ryan] said, announcing his support of the deal, "we've been looking for this moment for a long time."

RYAN: That meant we've been looking for bipartisanship for a long time.

Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate

Paul Ryan on Homeland Security : Aug 11, 2012
More funding for veterans

I will continue to advocate on behalf of our veterans, which I believe is one of the most important responsibilities of the federal government. With increased funding for mental health facilities and increased health care access for veterans living in rural areas, I am pleased the House was able to make significant progress in securing veterans' health benefits. Much work remains, and I remain committed to our veterans.
Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: 2012 House campaign website, ryanforcongress.com, "Issues"

Gary Johnson on Homeland Security : Aug 1, 2012
Should we have 100,000 troops on the ground in Europe?

Focus spending cuts on "the Big 4" government programs: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Defense.

On Defense: We shouldn't have gone into Iraq and Afghanistan. But should we have 100,000 troops on the ground in Europe? Because America has been willing to be the world's policeman, other nations can afford infrastructure projects that the US cannot. That doesn't make sense. The alternative is for the US economy to slide to 3rd-world status. And the danger of a fundamental collapse is real.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Seven Principles, by Gary Johnson, p.105-106

Tim Kaine on Homeland Security : May 11, 2012
All-cuts approach leaves TRICARE & nat'l defense vulnerable

Radtke said "we need someone who is going to focus on cutting spending in these serious times."

Allen said the economy was out of control "because of the overspending, over-regulating . big government policies of President Obama, Tim Kaine and the Washington liberals."

Immediately after the debate, a Kaine spokeswoman criticized the Republican candidates, saying a balanced approach was needed on economic issues: "The Republican all-cuts approach would not only leave programs like TRICARE, veterans job training, and national defense vulnerable, but their gridlock politics will fundamentally jeopardize military preparedness and economic growth."

Click for Tim Kaine on other issues.   Source: Hampton Roads Daily Press on 2012 Virginia Senate debate

Gary Johnson on Homeland Security : Apr 23, 2012
Cut spending by 43%, but not one penny from veteran benefits

Q: What would you do about reforming veteran's benefits?

A: I promise to submit a balanced budget, with 43% less spending in it, as an overall number. I am not going to cut pensions or benefits for veterans by a penny. When you look at the overall sacrifice that all of us are going to have to be a part of, if we're going to have a country going forward, I'm not asking veterans to sacrifice anything that they're currently receiving. Maybe there aren't any raises, but there certainly are no losses.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: YouTube video "Online Town Hall", transcribed by OnTheIssues

Paul Ryan on Homeland Security : Apr 5, 2012
$554B for national defense spending instead of $55B cut

This budget takes several steps to ensure that national security remains government's top priority:
Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: The Path to Prosperity, by Paul Ryan, p. 13

Tim Kaine on Homeland Security : Feb 29, 2012
Troop Talent Act: ease transition to civilian careers

One of Tim's favorite parts about serving in the Senate is getting to represent Virginia on the Armed Services Committee. Virginia is home to the world's largest naval base, more than 25 military installations, thousands of servicemembers and their families, and our nation's best shipbuilders and defense contractors.

Tim came to the Senate determined to help reduce unemployment among our nation's veterans. His first bill, the Troop Talent Act, made improvements to credentialing to ease the transition from active duty service to civilian careers. The idea for the legislation came from Tim's conversations with veterans who had encountered private sector employers who were unfamiliar with the skills they had developed during military training and how they would translate to the civilian workforce. One of the few Senators with a child serving in the military, Tim is a consistent advocate for military families on the Armed Services Committee.

Click for Tim Kaine on other issues.   Source: Virginia 2012 Senate campaign website KaineForVA.com

Rick Santorum on Homeland Security : Feb 22, 2012
There are good earmarks, like Osprey military program

Q: Senator, you have said there are good earmarks and bad earmarks?

SANTORUM: The idea that somehow earmarks during the time that I was in Congress were this thing that drove up spending--as a percentage of GDP, the debt went down. What happened is there was abuse. When abuse happened, I said we should stop the earmarking process. But I did say there were good earmarks and bad earmarks. We wouldn't have the V-22 Osprey, which was the most essential air platform for our Marines in particular in the war against the radical Islamists. We wouldn't have it if it wasn't for an earmark. That program would have been killed. Dick Cheney and the Defense Department wanted to kill that program, and many of us, including myself, stood up and made sure that was there. Congress has a role to play when it comes to appropriating money, and sometimes the president and the administration don't get it right. I do believe there was abuse, and I said we should stop it, and as president I would oppose earmarks.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: CNN's 2012 GOP Debate on eve of Arizona Primary

Jill Stein on War & Peace : Jan 25, 2012
Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were illegal

The deficit has been made worse by unconscionable spending choices: notably the 4 trillion dollars spent on the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and trillions more spent on the bloated Pentagon budget, tax giveaways for the wealthy, and bailouts for Wall Street.

Instead of austerity, we can end the Wall Street bailouts, cut the bloated military and tax the bloated rich.

Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: Green Party 2012 People's State of the Union speech

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jan 11, 2012
Reduce defense spending 1% in 2013; add 2% per year after

According to the first details of the Obama administration's fiscal 2013 defense budget, defense spending in 2013 would be reduced 1% from this year's initial $525 billion request before growing annually 1.8% in 2014, 2.3% in 2015, 1.9% in 2016, and 2.2% in 2017.

The administration plans $82 billion in funding for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars for 2013, according to OMB. The basic defense-only "topline" numbers are currently projected at: $524 billion in 2013; and $533 billion in 2014; $546 billion in 2015; $556 billion in 2016; and $568 billion in 2017. The percentage increases are expressed in "nominal growth," not adjusted for inflation.

The 2012-2021 defense plan calls for $5.652 trillion in spending. OMB calculated that the total Budget Control Act- mandated defense cut over those years is $488 billion--or about an 8.5% total decrease.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Tony Capaccio in Bloomberg News, "First Budget Numbers"

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : Jan 10, 2012
Cut defense spending as part of cutting all federal spending

My proposal [for spending cuts] would have simply rolled back federal spending to 2008 levels by initiating reductions at various levels almost across the board. My proposal included cutting wasteful spending in the Department of Defense, especially considering that since 2001 our annual defense budget increased nearly 120%. Even subtracting the costs of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pentagon spending was up 67%. These levels of spending were unjustified and unsustainable-- and yet too many Republicans also thought these Defense Department cuts made my proposal too "extreme."
Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Now Or Never, by Sen. Jim DeMint, p. xiii

Mitt Romney on Homeland Security : Jan 8, 2012
Obama defense issue stances compared to Romney

Will Obama actually reduce defense spending? (No.) Will Romney increase defense spending more than Obama? (Yes.) OnTheIssues' paperback book explores how Romney's stances on defense spending differ from Obama's, and where they are similar. We cite details from Romney's books and speeches, and Obama's, so you can compare them, side-by-side, on issues like these:

Romney vs. Obama on International Issues

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Paperback: Romney vs. Obama On The Issues

Jill Stein on Homeland Security : Dec 21, 2011
Cut military 50%; spend that $500B on economy

Q: What do you recommend regarding the Defense budget?

A: Downsize the military 50%; that would include the security apparatus. That would free up $500 billion per year to spend on things that would improve our economy and truly increase national security. A hyper-armed military distributed around the world makes us less secure, not more secure. We need to use diplomacy, international law, and human rights as the principles of international relations--not military might. That is a dead end.

Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: 2011 OnTheIssues interview with Jill Stein

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Dec 13, 2011
We shared responsibility to bring democracy to Libya

The Iraq War really spiraled out of control pretty quickly. One of the lessons we`ve learned is that you can go into any dictatorship and try to impose democracy, but it`s going to take you $1 trillion, a decade, and you`re going to have to make a judgment whether or not you`d better spend your time and effort doing something else to make the world safer.

I would give Libya as an example. It was clear that Moammar Gadhafi was really not a good guy at all. But what did the president do? We spent several billion dollars, but we didn`t lose one American life. We didn`t put one boot on the ground. And we had a shared responsibility with the rest of the world, including Arab nations as well as NATO to deal with that issue.

And now, there`s a shared responsibility to the world to help them establish a democracy. That`s very different than going it alone. I hope we`ve learned the lesson that, unless our immediate vital national interest is at stake, going it alone should be the last option.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Interview in MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show"

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Dec 5, 2011
All freedoms flow from national security

Obama's recent decision to gut the U.S. military by cutting $400 billion from our defense budget, a figure more than double what then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates identified as being prudent. Now here's Obama, a guy who never met a spending bill h doesn't love. But when it comes to funding our troops and giving them the equipment, training, and support they need, Obama is MIA.

The reason conservatives support a strong and well-funded military is because they know that all freedoms flow from national security. That's why we need a new president. It's also why we need to get tough in foreign policy to deal with the threats and challenges America faces from rival and enemy nations.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 90-91

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Dec 5, 2011
Iraq should pick up the tab for their own liberation

When you do someone a favor, they say thank you. When you give someone a loan, they pay you back. And when a nation like the US sacrifices thousands of lives of its own young servicemen and women and more than a trillion dollars to bring freedom to the people of Iraq, the least the Iraqis should do is pick up the tab for their own liberation.

How much is it worth to them to be rid of the bloodthirsty dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and to have gained a democracy? In reality, that's a priceless gift. When I say they should pay us back, I'm not even talking about cash out of their pockets. All I'm asking is that they give us, temporarily, a few flows of oil--enough to help pay us back and help take care of the tens of thousands of families and children whose brave loved ones died or were injured while securing Iraqi freedom.

But does Iraq do that? No. In fact, they've made it clear they have no intention of ever doing so. Ever. The ingratitude of Iraq's leadership is breathtaking.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 9-10

Rick Santorum on Homeland Security : Oct 18, 2011
Don't cut one penny out of defense spending

Q: [to Paul]: You proposed a 15% cut to the Defense Department. Can you guarantee national security will not be hurt by that?

PAUL: I think it would be enhanced. I don't want to cut any defense. There's a lot of money spent in the military budget that doesn't do any good for our defense.

SANTORUM: I would absolutely not cut one penny out of military spending. The only thing the federal government can do that no other level of government can do is protect us. It is the first duty of the president. And we should have all the resources in place to make sure that we can defend our borders, that we can make sure that when we engage in foreign countries, we do so to succeed. That has been the problem in this administration. We've had political objectives instead of objectives for success. And that's why we haven't succeeded.

PAUL: Well, I think we're on economic suicide if we're not even willing to look at some of these overseas expenditures, 900 bases, 150 different countries.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: GOP 2011 primary debate in Las Vegas

Mitt Romney on Homeland Security : Oct 11, 2011
It's a terrible idea to cut defense

Q: The choice that is likely to confront Congress at the end of the year is some mix of revenues and cuts or these draconian automatic spending cuts [if the Super-Committee fails to agree on a plan] that would include defense. Which of those two, if that is the choice, would you prefer?

ROMNEY: Well, my choice is not to cut defense. I think it's a terrible idea to cut defense. I think it's a terrible idea to raise taxes. Particularly at a time when the economy's struggling, the idea of raising taxes, taking more money away from the American people, so government can spend it, and can spend it--right now the president has a jobs bill. How'd his last jobs bill work out for us?

Q: But what about the automatic cuts?

ROMNEY: No, I do not want the automatic cuts. I want to see that supercommittee take responsibility for getting the economy going again by reining in the scale of the federal government and saying we're going to pull back on some of the programs we have.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP debate at Dartmouth College, NH

Newt Gingrich on Homeland Security : Jul 21, 2011
Defense as percentage of GDP is lowest since WWII

Q: How do you weigh the cost of fighting the war on terror against the exploding debt crisis?

Gingrich: The exploding debt crisis is because of exploding politician spending in Washington, not because of national security.

Santorum: The first priority of the federal government is to keep America safe. I would not cut defense--freeze it; cut waste; and then plow savings back into Defense.

Johnson: The debt is the greatest threat to national security we face today. Besides, we do not need 60,000 to 100,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to protect ourselves. Nor do we need nation-building.

Gingrich: We spend less on defense today as percentage of GDP than at any time since Pearl Harbor.

Santorum: The first priority of the federal government is to keep America safe. I would not cut defense--freeze it; cut waste; and then plow savings back into Defense.

Gingrich: Controlling the border and defending America are job #1 under the Constitution.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on Twitter.com

Rick Santorum on Homeland Security : Jul 21, 2011
Cut waste in DOD, but don't cut defense budget

Q: How do you weigh the cost of fighting the war on terror against the exploding debt crisis?

Gingrich: The exploding debt crisis is because of exploding politician spending in Washington, not because of national security.

Santorum: The first priority of the federal government is to keep America safe. I would not cut defense--freeze it; cut waste; and then plow savings back into Defense.

Johnson: The debt is the greatest threat to national security we face today. Besides, we do not need 60,000 to 100,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to protect ourselves. Nor do we need nation-building.

Gingrich: We spend less on defense today as percentage of GDP than at any time since Pearl Harbor.

Santorum: The first priority of the federal government is to keep America safe. I would not cut defense--freeze it; cut waste; and then plow savings back into Defense.

Gingrich: Controlling the border and defending America are job #1 under the Constitution.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on Twitter.com

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : Jul 4, 2011
9/11 justified eliminating Taliban, but not nation-building

After Al Qaeda attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, we rightly sought to bring to justice those who attacked us, to eliminate Al Qaeda's safe havens and training camps in Afghanistan, and to remove the terrorist-allied Taliban government. With hard work and sacrifice, our troops, intelligence personnel and diplomatic corps have skillfully achieved these objectives, culminating in the death of Osama bin Laden.

But over the past 10 years, our mission expanded to include a fourth goal: nation-building. That is what we are bogged down in now: a prolonged effort to create a strong central government, a national police force and an army, and civic institutions in a nation that never had any to begin with. Let's not forget that Afghanistan has been a tribal society for millenniums.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: 2011 official Senate press release, "Let's Not Linger"

Rick Santorum on Homeland Security : Jun 13, 2011
Terrorism is an asymmetric threat; we need worldwide bases

Q: We're in debt up to our eyeballs. We have nation building going on around the world. We're the world's police force. World War II is over. The Korean War is over. But we still have military bases all over Europe, all over Asia. Are you willing to shut down the bases that aren't vital to our national security, and take that money to pay off our national debt?

SANTORUM: We have actually closed down a lot of bases overseas. Look, what we're dealing with is a failure of leadership on this administration's part to actually put together a strategy where we can confront our enemies. And our enemies are asymmetric threats: terrorism. That means that they are not just positioned in the Middle East, but around the world. That means we have to have the ability to confront those threats from around the world, which means we need basing around the world. We do need that basing. We do need to be able to be nimble and to be able to attack where we're attacked because it's not just a threat.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH

Gary Johnson on War & Peace : May 2, 2011
Eliminate ineffective interventions in Iraq & Afghanistan

This recession has forced families and businesses across America to make hard choices and limit their expenditures. We must now expect our elected officials to make the tough calls that will keep our government on a sustainable path moving forward. We must restrain spending across the board:
Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Presidential campaign website, garyjohnson2012.com, "Issues"

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : Feb 22, 2011
How much of what is spent on defense is actual "defense"?

Of course we all recognize the need to fully fund military, to defend against any threats and defeat any enemies on the horizon. But we also need to recognize that America already spends nearly as much on defense as every other county on earth combined. Is this necessary? Are all of our foreign commitments necessary? What America spends on defense---it should be asked, how much of this qualifies as actual "defense"?--accounts for almost « of total global defense spending. Is this right? We spend billions of dollars keeping and maintaining foreign bases--shouldn't our allies be shouldering some of the cost, particularly when it comes to their own defense? Much like entitlements, what we spend on our military has long been drastically out of sync with what we can actually afford, producing the same expensive results that always characterize big government.
Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul, p. 31

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : Feb 22, 2011
Put defense spending on the table for reducing budget

National security is a primary function of our federal government and I even think defense should be the largest part of our budget-a budget many would agree should be reduced overall. Everything must be on the table, and we cannot even begin to control spending without a serious re-assessment of America's military role in the world and how much we're willing to pay for it.
Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul, p.135

Marco Rubio on Homeland Security : Aug 25, 2010
Safer place when America is strongest country in the world

Q: People have tried to paint the race in Florida as one which it would be difficult for you to win as a conservative.

A: Every one of our issues polls in the majority. Our positions are mainstream positions. It's pretty simple. I think the private sector creates jobs, not government. I think our government cannot continue to spend more money than it takes in. And I think the world is a safer place when America is the strongest country in the world. These are mainstream positions. It's my opponents, it's Washington DC that's far outside the mainstream. They may not believe that in the fancy editorial boards, but everyday Floridians believe that Washington is taking us down a road that will rob us of our exceptionalism. And we're the only campaign offering a clear alternative on that front.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: 2010 Fox News interview, Primary Night edition of "Hannity"

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jun 1, 2010
OpEd: On track to spend most on military since WWII

For 2008, the US accounted for over 40% of global military expenses, eight times as much as its nearest rival, China. The US is of course alone in having a vast network of military bases around the world and a global surveillance and control system, and in regularly invading other countries (with impunity, given its power). From 1999 to 2008, global military spending increased 45%, with the US accounting for 58% of the total.

Obama is on track to spend more on defense, in real dollars, than any other president in one term of office since World War II, and that's not counting the additional $130 billion the administration is requesting to find the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan next year, with even more war spending slated for future years. In January 2010, Congress passed his Pentagon budget with supplemental funding for Afghanistan pending. The $708.3 billion budget (with another $33 billion expected for Afghanistan) is not only a record, but also amounts to half the deficit.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Hopes and Prospects, by Noam Chomsky, p. 63-64

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Apr 27, 2010
Business students should read Sun Tzu's "The Art of War"

Back in school, I spent time studying wars and their impact on where we are today in civilization. That's a big assignment and I'm by no means an expert, but it is worth spending some time to know how and why we are where we are today.

One book that I would suggest to you, because it is valuable for business and managerial strategies, is "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu. This was apparently written in the sixth century BC and is a study of military strategy. It may sound like an unusual business school recommendation, but believe me, it isn't. It's valuable and worth your time.

By comparison, another famed book is Machiavelli's The Prince, which is more about political conflict and qualities necessary for leadership than war or business, but its emphasis on power becomes a negative factor. Ethics and integrity seem to get lost somewhere in the shuffle, and therefore the word Machiavellian has become a pejorative term. It's a better use of your time to read "The Art of War."

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p. 33

Jesse Ventura on Homeland Security : Mar 9, 2010
Federal surveillance is a waste of taxpayer dollars

Let's focus on rethinking the meaning of surveillance. Certainly in the case of Malcolm X, as well as Dr. King, being shadowed by government agencies seemed to lead inevitably to their death. There is too much secrecy in our government, and surveillance today is even more widespread that it was then, at a considerable waste of taxpayer dollars. Let's also teach our young people that a willingness to change your attitude, as Malcolm X was willing to do, is a mark not of weakness but sometimes of greatnes
Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p. 52

Mitt Romney on Homeland Security : Mar 2, 2010
Strong Economy; Strong Military; Strong People

There are three pillars that sustain a free and strong America:
  1. A Strong Economy
  2. A Strong Military
  3. A Free and Strong People
The action steps to secure each of these include those noted in this Agenda for a Free and Strong America:
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.301

Mitt Romney on Homeland Security : Mar 2, 2010
China's military is over half our size (not one-tenth!)

Reports of America's share of worldwide defense spending can be misleading. According to official budgets, we are responsible for about 48% of the entire world's defense spending--approximately ten times the amount spent by China. But, reported numbers do not tell the real story. First, some countries simply do not report all their military expenditures. China does not include expenses for strategic forces, military purchases from foreign countries, or the cost of military-related research and development. So while its reported military budget in 2007 was $46 billion, its actual annual spending is estimated to be in the range of $100 billion to $ 140 billion.

China's lower troop cost is largely the result of conscription and the nation's low wage rates. If China's cost to employ a soldier and to purchase an item of military hardware were identical to those that are paid in the United States, its budget would be closer to half the size of ours, not the one-tenth that is reported.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 83

Mitt Romney on Homeland Security : Mar 2, 2010
Defense cost comparison US vs PRC

It costs the United States $129 billion a year to field 1.5 million troops. China, by contrast, can raise an army of 2 million troops--33% more men and women than our combined services--for only about $25 billion annually. If their cost per soldier were the same as ours, instead of spending $25 billion for their troops, they would have to spend $172 billion. China's lower troop cost is largely the result of conscription and the nation's low wage rates.

For all these reasons, if you were to accept the argument of the activists opposed to the defense budget's size and you were to look at reported defense spending figures as a measure of the military strength of the two countries, you would get a very inaccurate impression. If China's cost to employ a soldier and to purchase an item of military hardware were identical to those that are paid in the United States, its budget would be closer to half the size of ours, not the one-tenth that is reported.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 84

Mitt Romney on Homeland Security : Mar 2, 2010
Allies must increase defense spending to a fair share

America alone is strong. America standing with its allies is a good deal stronger. But our allies are disarming at the same time that our potential foes are rearming. China & Russia are spending more than 4% of their GDP on their military, but France & the U.K. spend less than 2.5%, Italy 1.8%; Germany only 1.3%, and consistent with its postwar commitments, Japan spends less than 1.0% on defense. Raising the US defense budget from 3.8% to 4% of our GDP would add about $30 billion to defense. Raising defense spending by these 5 allies to 4% of their GDP would add TEN TIMES that amount to our combined defense. It is time for our allies to increase their investment in national and global security in order to assume their fair share of the load and to strengthen our combined capabilities.

When added together, the troop-strength and armament figures of our allies appear quite competitive. But they do not fool our potential adversaries: our allies [are not] a coherent collective military power.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 97

Peter King on Homeland Security : Sep 1, 2009
Don't treat Dubai Ports Deal in a pre-9-11 way

The state-owned company Dubai Ports World agreed to pay $6.8 billion for the New York City Passenger Ship Terminal, and owned a 50% interest in the Port Newark Container Terminal.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) became one of the early critics of the Dubai Ports deal. "This can't be treated in a pre-9/11 way," he told the media. "There was a tone deafness here that indicates they didn't show the level of concern that it warranted." Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) cast aspersions on the deal, on the Bush Administration, and on Arab [deals] in general. He noted that the 9-11 attacks were financed in part by money that had passed through banks in the United Arab Emirates [which includes Dubai].

While that may have been true, the issue here is that, in an atmosphere of intense politics, Schumer's protest struck a sensitive nerve and ultimately killed the deal. Schumer had beaten the administration at its own game of using national security as a political weapon.

Click for Peter King on other issues.   Source: The Test of our Times, by Tom Ridge, p.118-119

Rick Santorum on Homeland Security : Aug 27, 2009
We need to spend money to study the EMP threat

Here is something the big spenders from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other will be glad to hear: We need to spend money to study the electromagnetic pulse threat; to help states, localities, and families prepare; and to protect our critical electric infrastructure and transportation networks now.

America's enemies know our Achilles' heel and are no doubt planning to exploit it. The government is wise to protect our senior leadership. Now how about the rest of us?

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: Santorum in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Doomsday Scenario"

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Aug 4, 2009
2007: Supported funding Iraq War, against Obama

In May 2007, the Senate voted on a $120 billion spending bill that included $100 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan. Chris Dodd said he would oppose the spending bill. Joe Biden, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, declared he would vote for it.

Obama said, "I opposed this war in 2002 precisely because I feared it would lead us to the open-ended occupation in which we find ourselves today. We should not give the president a blank check to continue down this same, disastrous path." Just fourteen senators opposed the measure.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: The Battle for America 2008, by Balz & Johnson, p. 80-81

Mitt Romney on War & Peace : Feb 27, 2009
$700B was well-spent to win freedom in Iraq

For the last several years, we've heard liberals moaning about the $700 billion that have been spent over six years to win freedom in Iraq. They have now spent more than that in 30 days. And with a government almost $12 trillion in debt, any unnecessary spending puts at risk the creditworthiness of the US. If the world loses confidence in our currency, that could cause a run on the dollar, or hyperinflation. This is not the time to fulfill every liberal dream and spend America into catastrophe.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Speech to 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference

Rahm Emanuel on War & Peace : Jan 5, 2009
Iraq stretched our troops thin too thin for Afghan success

Iraq stretched our forces so thin that soldiers, members of the Guard, and Reservists carried a load far beyond that they had signed up for. The administration jeopardized the success of our mission in Afghanistan by shifting troops to Iraq because it didn't have enough to go all out in both places. Osama bin Laden got away at Tora Bora in part because we didn't have the personnel to pursue him.
Click for Rahm Emanuel on other issues.   Source: The Plan, by Rahm Emanuel, p.150-151

Joe Biden on Homeland Security : Oct 2, 2008
We spend same in 3 weeks in Iraq as 7 years in Afghanistan

PALIN: The counterinsurgency strategy--clearing, holding, rebuilding, the civil society and the infrastructure--can work in Afghanistan.

BIDEN: While Barack & I have been calling for more money & more troops in Afghanistan, McCain was saying two years ago, “The reason we don’t read about Afghanistan anymore in the paper, it’s succeeded.” We spend in three weeks on combat missions in Iraq, more than we spent in the entire time we have been in Afghanistan. That will change in an Obama administration.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Gov. Sarah Palin

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Aug 1, 2008
Goal is a world without nuclear weapons

Without any introduction, Obama begins, "I am the only major candidate to oppose this war from the beginning and, as president, I will end it.

"Second," he continues, "I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems and I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the quadrennial defense review is not used to justify unnecessary spending.

"Third," he says, without pausing, "I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons. I will seek a ban on the production of fissile materials. And I will negotiate with Russia to take ICBMs off hair-trigger alert and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals."

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p. 1-2

Rick Perry on Homeland Security : May 26, 2008
Always maintain a robust military capability

Today we remember those sacrifices and pay homage to Americans who gave their lives in defense of freedoms we too often take for granted. But we also know that a black thread is woven into the complex fabric of human nature, a seam of depravity that feed a hunger for power, a willingness to violate every rule of decency to attain it, and cold-blooded commitment to maintaining it with an iron grip.

For that reason, we must always maintain a robust military capability, led by principled, decisive leaders who will employ it when necessary where freedom and security are threatened. Since the founding of our democracy, the threats to our freedom have shifted in their appearance and approach. But the guiding principles have remained the same. With our inherent sense of fairness, Americans do not like bullies and will stand up to defend what is right, no matter where in the world the threat exists.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: Memorial Day speech to veteran's group

Jesse Ventura on War & Peace : Apr 1, 2008
Iraq war drains resources from social programs

Prior to invading, Donald Rumsfeld said that Iraq's oil would pay for everything. So much for that big idea.

The fact is, this war is not only draining America's resources, it's likely to eventually bankrupt us. And who is paying the biggest price? When you realize that the new Bush budget also cuts $66 billion out of Medicare payments to the elderly over the next 5 years, and another $12 billion out of Medicaid for the poor, it's kind of a no-brainer. The NY Times recently noted that, for what the war is costing, we could've instituted universal health care, provided nursery school education for every 3- and 4-year-old, and immunized kids around the world against numerous diseases--and still had half the money left over.

At the same time, shortly before we turned over supposed control to the Iraqis, the US Federal Reserve sent over, on military aircraft, the biggest cash shipment it's ever made--more than $4 billion, amounting to 363 tons of dollars on these huge pallets.

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.263

Jesse Ventura on War & Peace : Apr 1, 2008
Bush violated Constitution by misleading US into Iraq War

George Bush violated the Constitution by going to war under false premises. He and others in his administration did everything they could to ensure that the American people were misled. What are the Democrats going to do now, nothing? For fear of being unpatriotic?

By the time he leaves office, Bush will have spent more than a trillion dollars on his military adventures. While more than 20 retired American generals have come out strongly opposed to what we're doing in Iraq, our veterans are receiving shameful treatment. In the course of this war, more than 20,000 soldiers have been discharged with so-called "personality disorder," meaning that they're often being denied disability and medical benefits.

Now, I ask you: Who are the real dysfunctional personalities here? Maybe a president who thinks he's getting messages straight from God? Or a vice president so delusional he believes we can "bunker-bust" Iran's supposed nuclear sites without opening up a whole new front in this madness?

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.274

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : Mar 25, 2008
Long-held pro-defense spending stance; not a move to center

As long as she has been in public life, Clinton has held many positions that are ordinarily associated with Republicans, supporting the death penalty, numerous free-trade agreements, and high defense spending, to name a few. She was also a strong and early supporter of the Iraq war (though she became a critic as the war dragged on). Yet these positions are not only not taken as evidence that she is in fact a centrist, they are used as evidence of insincere political calculation. She has often been characterized as MOVING to the center in preparation for a presidential run, even when her position on the issue in question has remained unchanged.

For Clinton, long-held positions, like a hawkish approach to military affairs, are taken as evidence of a shift. And the prevailing assumption is that when she breaks with some in her party (or even when she sticks with her party) it is for crass political purposes and not an outgrowth of genuine conviction.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Free Ride, by David Brock and Paul Waldman, p.134-135

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Feb 21, 2008
Unacceptable to have veterans drive 250 miles to a hospital

The incredible burden that has been placed on the American people, starting with military families, and the fact that we still are not doing right by our veterans, that we still don’t honor their service, that there are still homeless veterans, that we still don’t screen properly for post-traumatic stress disorder and make sure that they’re getting mental services that they need, that we are still having veterans in south Texas have to drive 250 miles to access a veterans hospital. That’s unacceptable.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Feb 2, 2008
Improve veterans’ mental health treatment & PTSD benefits

AT A GLANCETHE PROBLEMOBAMA’S PLANOBAMA RECORD
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Campaign booklet, “Blueprint for Change”, p. 56-57

Mike Huckabee on War & Peace : Jan 28, 2008
We are making progress in Iraq, Afghanistan, & war on terror

Difficult as it has been, we are making progress in Iraq and Afghanistan. All Americans should take pride in the accomplishments of our warriors, under the superb leadership of General Petraeus. We need--and must provide for--the strongest and most effective military in the world, to protect ourselves and our key allies. In addition, here on the homefront, we must continue our vigilance in the war on terror--and insist on the best possible care for veterans, their spouses and their dependents.
Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: Response to 2008 State of the Union address

Mitt Romney on Homeland Security : Jan 24, 2008
Add 100,000 to the military without a draft

Q: How do you increase the size of the military without a draft?

A: I’m recommending that we add 100,000 active-duty personnel to our military. We’re right now at about 1.5 million. Take that up to about 1.6 million. We found in our state that we were losing enrollees for the National Guard at about 6% per year. And the legislature and I got together and passed something called the Welcome Home Bill. We said if you’ll sign up for the National Guard, we’ll pay for your entire education for four years. We put in some other benefits as well--life insurance and other features that we decided to pay for. The result of that was, the next year enrollments went up 30%. So if we want more people to sign up for the military, we have to improve the deal. Our GI Bill has gotten a little old. We need to update our funding level for that, so that young people who go into the military get a full ride as they come home and get to go into college.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida

Sarah Palin on Homeland Security : Jan 15, 2008
Armed forces, including my son, give us security and freedom

Let us pay tribute to all our men and women in uniform, and their families, and those who’ve previously served our great nation. Their fight for freedom allows us to assemble tonight--with liberty and security! Because of their sacrifices we are free to do our jobs here. And we thank them. Todd and our son Track who is proudly serving in the U.S. Army, thank you [all] for your service.
Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: 2008 State of the State Address to 25th Alaska Legislature

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : Jan 15, 2008
Passed legislation to treat veterans’ traumatic brain injury

We have to do everything necessary to help returning veterans get the health care and the support that they need. This new signature wound called traumatic brain injury is something that I am really upset about, because we’ve only begun to recognize it and diagnose it. I was able to pass legislation to begin to provide the physical and mental evaluations so we could treat this. They’re now getting these exams because we’ve got to track what happens to the veterans and provide the services for them.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Dec 20, 2007
Congress decides what constitutes torture, not president

Q: If Congress prohibits a specific interrogation technique, can the president instruct his subordinates to employ that technique despite the statute?

A: No. The President is not above the law, and not entitled to use techniques that Congress has specifically banned as torture. We must send a message to the world that America is a nation of laws, and a nation that stands against torture. As President I will abide by statutory prohibitions for all US Government personnel and contractors.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power

Mitt Romney on Homeland Security : Oct 21, 2007
FactCheck: Bush cut military budget as much as Bill Clinton

Romney falsely blamed Bill Clinton for the entire post-Cold War reduction in US military forces. Romney said, “During the Clinton years, we reduced the scale of our military dramatically, took 500,000 troops out, cut back our Navy by 80 ships, knocked our Air Force down 25%.”

Romney has tried this bit before. In fact, we’ve called him on it once already: that in inflation-adjusted dollars, defense spending dropped nearly 15% between Reagan’s last budget and the final budget of George H.W. Bush four years later--compared with just under 13% between Bush’s last budget and Clinton’s, a span of eight years. Bush’s defense secretary, a guy named Dick Cheney, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in 1992 that “overall, since I’ve been secretary, we will have taken the five-year defense program down by well over $300 billion. That’s the peace dividend. And now we’re adding to that another $50 billion.”

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: FactCheck on 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando

Mike Huckabee on Homeland Security : Sep 27, 2007
Raise enlistment rates with Veterans’ Bill of Rights

Q: Regarding declining minority enlistment, what do you say to minorities who are overwhelmingly opposed to the continuation of this war?

A: One of the tragedies is that our military veterans have kept their promises to us; we have not kept all of our promises to them. Many of them have come back to be told to wait in line for their health care, to be told that mental health would be something that might be rationed out. That’s not acceptable. And, if I were president, I’d like to see us have a very plainly written, simple-to-understand veterans’ bill of rights that would make sure that every single thing that these veterans have been promised is delivered. And it’s delivered as the first fruits of the federal Treasury before anyone else gets their nose in the trough, the veterans get their benefits paid--not on the basis of a limited budget, but on the basis of making sure that we keep promises to the people who have kept us free. That, I believe, will help people want to be a part of the military

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Sep 26, 2007
Leave troops for protection of Americans & counterterrorism

The first thing I will do is initiate a phased redeployment. Military personnel indicate we can get one brigade to two brigades out per month. I would immediately begin that process. We would get combat troops out of Iraq. The only troops that would remain would be those that have to protect US bases and US civilians, as well as to engage in counterterrorism activities in Iraq.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Aug 26, 2007
Support veterans via the Dignity for Wounded Warriors Act

Following reports of neglect at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Obama introduced the Dignity for Wounded Warriors Act. The bill improves the condition of troop housing, streamlines the process for seeking care, provides greater information to recovering servicemembers, requires the hiring of more caseworkers, and provides more support to family members who care for injured troops:
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Presidential campaign website, BarackObama.com “Flyers”

Joe Biden on Homeland Security : Aug 9, 2007
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is antiquated & unworkable

Q: Would you support a repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which would allow gay, lesbian, and bisexual soldiers the right to serve openly in the military?

A: Sen. Biden supports ending the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. It is antiquated and unworkable. According to recent polls, 3/4 of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan said that they had no problem serving with openly gay people. 24 of the nations serving alongside US forces in Iraq permit open service which has had no negative impact on these forces or the morale of our brave soldiers. Finally, the US does not have enough troops to fulfill our current missions--it is ridiculous to turn away brave and patriotic Americans who volunteer to serve solely because of their sexual orientation--especially in light of the Defense Department’s recent decision to extend tours of duty in Iraq. Sen. Biden believes that we should treat everyone serving in the military by the same standards regardless of orientation.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate--written questionnaire

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jun 3, 2007
Address the deficiencies in the VA system

We don’t have a full-service VA system, so a lot of troops that have been injured are having to travel elsewhere, and that’s something that we have to address. There are important efficiencies that we can obtain by having a VA hospital system; for example, prescription drugs. But we have to have a VA that serves everybody. In some rural communities that the veterans don’t have access to the services needed, we’ve got to make sure that they do have the option for a private hospital that is close by
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jun 3, 2007
The cost of the Iraq war should not shortchange VA benefits

We tried to tell the Bush administration you need an additional $2 billion to provide services to troops who are coming home. They said no. Everything’s covered. Six months through, they had to come back and say, it turns out we did need it after all. Part of the reason is because they have been trying to keep the costs down of this war and have not fully factored in the sacred obligation that we have to make sure that every single veteran has the services that they need.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jun 3, 2007
Make sure the outpatient facilities work for veterans

I visited Walter Reed repeatedly. Typically what would happen is we would go to visit troops in the medical facility, and people will acknowledge that the medical facility at Walter Reed does great work. Unfortunately, it turned out that the outpatient facilities were disastrous. That’s why we now have legislation to make sure not only that we’re just painting over some of the mold in there, but also making it easier for families & veterans to negotiate the system once they’re outpatients.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College

Mitt Romney on War & Peace : May 3, 2007
Osama bin Laden will die for the outrage he has exacted

Q: When speaking about Osama bin Laden last week, Gov. Romney said, “It’s not worth moving heaven & Earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.” Sen. McCain called that naive. Who’s right?

GILMORE: We have to do everything that we can do to get this guy, because he is a symbol to the people who believe that they have a duty to destroy Western civilization.

ROMNEY: Of course we get bin Laden & track him wherever he has to go, and make sure he pays for the outrage he exacted upon America.

Q: Can we move heaven and earth to do it?

ROMNEY: We’ll move everything to get him. But this is not all about one person, because after we get him, there’s going to be another and another. This is a worldwide jihadist effort to try and cause the collapse of all moderate Islamic governments and replace them with a caliphate. This is a global effort we’re going to have to lead to overcome this jihadist effort. It’s more than Osama bin Laden. But he is going to pay, and he will die.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Mar 27, 2007
America must practice the patriotism it preaches

I think it is unconscionable for us to stand by our troops and hoist the flag and suggest how patriotic we are at the same time as the veterans’ budget is being effectively cut.

I’m going to monitor very closely how we are treating 100,000+ veterans wh are coming home, to make sure the VA has the capacity to provide transition services for veterans who are leaving the service and reentering civilian life--particularly the National Guardsman and Reservists who did not expect to be fighting in Iraq.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: In His Own Words, edited by Lisa Rogak, p.155

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Mar 14, 2007
Comprehensive plan for our veterans healthcare

Washington says that they support the troops. They give long speeches about valor and sacrifice. But when it comes time to sending our troops into battle with the proper equipment and ensure that veterans have what they need when they get home, they don’t do anything except slap a yellow ribbon on the back of their SUV. That’s how come our men and women have to use scrap metal to protect their Humvees.

Our veterans end up living among mice and mold. They stare at stacks of paperwork. They thought they left the frontline in Iraq but they came home to a new frontline of red tape and bureaucracy.

This is unacceptable. When our veterans come home, I don’t want them crawling around a dumpster for a meal or a box for shelter. I don’t want them drowning in whiskey to silence the PTSD. I don’t want that for our veterans. We know they deserve more.

So let’s make a promise today--and say that, right here and right now, is when we begin to put together a comprehensive plan for our veterans.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC

Jeb Bush on War & Peace : Feb 15, 2007
Disliked Andover because of Vietnam-era campus turmoil

Jeb actively chose a different path than his father. After Andover, which he disliked because of the Vietnam-era campus turmoil that marked his time there, Jeb went to the University of Texas for college, ostensibly to be closer to the Mexican girl he had met during an Andover program his senior year. Upon graduating, Jeb chose the banking business, spending 5 years at Texas Commerce Bank, including 2 at the bank's Venezuela branch in Caracas. After coming home in 1979 to work on his dad's unsuccessful run for president, Jeb settled in Miami--again, to escape his father's shadow in Texas--and got into real estate, a business his father had never entered.
Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p. 74

Tim Kaine on Homeland Security : Jan 10, 2007
Expand job benefits for members of the Virginia Guard

This session, we can show our gratitude by working together to better serve those who serve us. I've offered legislation to expand benefits and job protection for members of the Virginia Guard who serve critical state missions at the request of the Governor. We should also expand benefits for family members of active duty personnel who are disabled or killed in service to their country.
Click for Tim Kaine on other issues.   Source: 2007 State of the State address to Virginia Assembly

Martin O`Malley on Homeland Security : Nov 7, 2006
More equipment and training for first responders

Martin O’Malley and Anthony Brown believe Maryland needs to focus strongly on first responders--our law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS personnel--by providing them with the equipment and training to remain safe and protect citizens during terrorist attacks. Maryland needs to share information at all levels--federal, state and local--to prevent disaster before it can claim more lives.
Click for Martin O`Malley on other issues.   Source: 2006 Gubernatorial website, martinomalley.com, “Issues”

Sarah Palin on Homeland Security : Nov 7, 2006
Promote from within, in Alaska’s National Guard

Thank you military personnel! I support you. I respect our military personnel and understand the importance of Alaska’s National Guard. As I watched our military men and women being deployed I recognized how important it is for their families to know how much Alaska and America support them. I believe in “promoting from within” to provide continued good leadership that truly understands Alaska and will partner with our elected leaders to support our troops.
Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: 2006 Gubernatorial website, palinforgovernor.com, “Issues”

Sarah Palin on Homeland Security : Nov 3, 2006
Let military personnel know how much we support them

ALASKA’S MILITARY: Thank you military personnel! I support you. I respect our military personnel and understand the importance of Alaska’s National Guard. As I watched our military men and women being deployed I recognized how important it is for their families to know how much Alaska and America support them. I believe in “promoting from within” to provide continued good leadership that truly understands Alaska and will partner with our elected leaders to support our troops.
Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Palin-Parnell campaign booklet: New Energy for Alaska

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Oct 17, 2006
Need to be both strong and smart on national defense

Obama takes an unexceptional position on defense spending, i.e., we need to be strong but we need to be smart about it. However, some papers reported the story as “Obama chides other Democrats on defense.” Of course, it is not true. The rumor got started that way, in the lead of an AP article on Obama’s Sept. 18 speech to Iowa Democrats. Six other articles reporting on the same event failed to mention the mythical attack on other Democrats.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Should Barack Obama be President, by F. Zimmerman, p. 50

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Oct 1, 2006
Grow size of military to maintain rotation schedules

Our most complex military challenge will involve putting boots on the ground in the ungoverned or hostile regions where terrorists thrive. That requires a smarter balance between what we spend on fancy hardware and what we spend on our men and women in uniform. That should mean growing the size of our armed forces to maintain reasonable rotation schedules, keeping our troops properly equipped, and training them in the skills they’ll need to succeed in increasingly complex and difficult missions.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p.307

John Kasich on Homeland Security : May 10, 2006
Cheap Hawk: Strong on defense; tight with a dollar

In the 1980s on the Defense Committee, in addition to the Russians, another enemy was the status quo. I may have been strong on defense, but at the same time I was openly critical of the excess spending in every aspect of the federal budget, which cast m as a kind of cheap hawk and served to essentially alienate me from everyone.

I was astonished to discover wasteful spending in the Pentagon budget; I was even more astonished that hardly anyone was speaking out against it. The mantra in Washington at that time was to trim the fat from our social welfare and entitlement programs. But to take the welfare out of the Pentagon? Well, to do so as a cheap hawk Republican, who walked the political tightrope of being strong on defense and tight with a dollar. One of my congressional colleagues even called me a traitor to our country, that's how out there my position seemed to be among the hawks in the Republican Party, but my feeling was that we needed to ferret out this waste no matter where we found it.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Stand For Something, by John Kasich, p. 91-92

Condoleezza Rice on Homeland Security : Oct 25, 2005
Speech scheduled for 9/11/01 focused on missile defense

During the transition, Sandy Berger (Clinton's national security adviser) told Condi Rice that she would spend more time on bin Laden and al Qaeda than on anything else. But despite these warnings, or maybe because of them, the Bush team decided to shift its focus to missile defense.

In fact, Condi Rice was scheduled to give a speech on this very topic on September 11, 2001, at Johns Hopkins University. As the Washington Post reported on April 1, 2004, Rice's speech was intended to address "the threats and problems of today and the day after, not the world of yesterday." But the text of the speech, which was never delivered, contained not one word about the actual threat of "today," which, as became clear that day, was al Qaeda. Here's the Post: "The address was designed to promote missile defense as the cornerstone of a new national security strategy, and contained no mention of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or Islamic extremist groups, according to former US officials who have seen the text."

Click for Condoleezza Rice on other issues.   Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p. 40-41

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Oct 26, 2004
Saddam did not own and was not providing WMD to terrorists

It’s simply not true that Saddam was providing weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. This incursion into Iraq has resulted in a situation in which terrorist recruits are up. It’s been acknowledged, now, by the Pentagon, that the insurgents active in Iraq are far higher. Terrorist attacks worldwide are the highest in 20 years. The notion that somehow we’re less vulnerable in the US as a consequence of spending 200 billion dollars and sacrificing thousands of lives is simply not borne out by the facts
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: IL Senate Debate

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jul 12, 2004
Increase funding to decommission Russian nukes

More than a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia still has more nearly 20,000 nuclear weapons and enough nuclear material to produce 50,000 more. At the current rate of spending, it will take 13 years to secure all the potential bomb material from the old Soviet Republic. We should increase funding to do it in four years. We must also strengthen the existing Non-Proliferation Treaty, and lead in the efforts to prevent countries with the proven capability to build WMDs from doing so.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Press Release, “Renewal of American Leadership ”

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jul 12, 2004
Balance domestic intelligence reform with civil liberty risk

[The US should] strengthen and improve intelligence capabilities. We must reform our domestic intelligence capabilities in a manner that balances the risks of impeding on the civil liberties of our citizens and increase international cooperation on all fronts. We should also give the Director of Intelligence the authority he or she needs over budget and personnel to be effective and accountable.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Press Release, “Renewal of American Leadership ”

Jeb Bush on Homeland Security : Jan 22, 2002
$17M for new programs for terrorism response

Immediately following the terrorist attacks on September 11th, we acted quickly. By executive order, I put in place new programs that bolstered law enforcement's ability to deal with the terrorist threat and authorized specialized training for domestic security personnel.

I am proud of the rapid response of the Legislature in aggressively addressing this new threat. A few weeks ago, in special session, you dedicated more than $17 million in new programs to bolster homeland security, put into place harsher criminal penalties for terrorist acts, and created a new, coordinated system for law enforcement's response to terrorism.

But we must do more. I am proposing this session that we spend $45 million to further strengthen domestic security, including $6 million to continue the efforts begun in the current year.

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: State of the State address to 2002 Florida Legislature

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Jul 2, 2000
3% of GNP for military is too low

To tell the enemy we’re not going to invade defies common sense. That lack of confidence may reflect another troubling reality: our diminished military forces. To wage our aerial assault on Yugoslavia we had to call upon US forces from all points of the globe. Why? Because we’re spread too thin. The US last year spent 3% of gross domestic product maintaining our military forces. Compare that with past figures: Defense spending in the last year of the Carter administration came to 4.9% of GDP. During the Reagan buildup it was 6.5%. We are still living off the Reagan military buildup of nearly 20 years ago. The question is: What will we live off ten or fifteen years from now if we do not invest again?

You can’t pursue forward military and foreign-policy objectives on a backward military budget. I’m not advocating that America go forth and police the world. I’m just saying that if we’re going to use our military power abroad, we had better make sure that power is ready to be used.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.149

Jesse Ventura on War & Peace : Jan 1, 1999
We need Saddam as the bad guy in oil disputes

I can tell you the reason why we keep getting into scuffles with Saddam Hussein: We need him. The fact that we’ve kept him in power and haven’t taken him out is intentional. We need a bad guy there. We need a reason to keep our military personnel on the pulse of the world’s oil reserves. We put him in there--do you think we couldn’t have taken him down by now if we had wanted to? And he knows it. That’s why he misbehaves!
Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Ain’t Got Time To Bleed, p. 35

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Oct 27, 1997
1994 Veteran's parade: Such high-quality people led military

[After a poorly-attended Veteran's Day parade], a group of veterans wanted to do it differently the following year. Those veterans asked me to lead it as Grand Marshal--essentially they wanted my stamp of approval. They needed dollars. They knew I could raise lots of money and get additional donors. They also knew I would attract a lot of press.

I agreed. I thought it would be fun, and I knew it was important. Mayor Giuliani was pledging the support of the city. I put up money; others matched it. I always knew there was a military out there, but I had no idea such high quality people led it. This is something I got to know, and know very well, over the next few months.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p.168-72

Jerry Brown on Homeland Security : Feb 12, 1996
$265B Pentagon budget passed without much debate

Let's take for example the latest Pentagon budget. I don't recall much significant debate about it at all. Clinton signed it at $265 billion. The only issues that were talked about in the media were the banning of HIV-positive enlisted personnel, and the banning of abortions at military clinics. In terms of the $265 billion and how that stacks up against other countries, I don't think I saw anything in the mainstream press at all, and I saw nothing about foreign aid.
Click for Jerry Brown on other issues.   Source: Dialogues, by Gov. Jerry Brown, p.222

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Candidates on Homeland Security:
Incumbents:
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Nuclear Energy & Weapons
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Gov.Jeb Bush(R-FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(T-MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(R-NJ)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
Sen.Ted Cruz(T-TX)
CEO Carly Fiorina(R-CA)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(R-LA)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(D-MD)
Sen.Rand Paul(R-KY)
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Sen.Rick Santorum(R-PA)
Jill Stein(G-MA)
Donald Trump(R-NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(R-WI)
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(D-IL)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(R-GA)
Gov.Nikk Haley(R-SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(R-AR)
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Rep.Ron Paul(R-TX)
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Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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Page last updated: Oct 07, 2016