issues2000

Topics in the News: Armed Forces Personnel


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

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

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

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

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

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

Deval Patrick on Homeland Security : Jan 23, 2012
Massachusetts leads the nation in veterans benefits

Like every state, we cut spending and headcount, and slimmed down programs or eliminated some. But we also chose to invest in education, in health care and in job creation--because we all know that educating our kids, having health care you can depend on, and a good job is the path to a better future.And it's also why we have not only closed our budget gaps, eliminated our structural deficit, and achieved the highest bond rating in our history, but made the kinds of meaningful reforms in the pension system, in municipal health benefits, in our schools, in our transportation and so much more that had eluded our predecessors for a long, long time. None of this is happening by accident.
Click for Deval Patrick on other issues.   Source: MA 2012 State of the State Address

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Sep 23, 2007
No funding that does not move us toward withdrawal

Q: The president is going to submit a new spending bill this week calling for another $200 billion in spending for Iraq. Last May you voted to cut off spending. Will you do so again with this spending bill?

A: I will not vote for any funding that does not move us toward beginning to withdraw our troops, that does not have pressure on the Iraqi government to make the tough political decisions that they have, that does not recognize that there is a diplomatic endeavor that has to be undertaken. This has gone on now, unfortunately, for years, with the president holding on to his failed policy and with Republicans in the Senate and on the campaign trail deciding to support that failed policy, and it’s really the only way that I can register my very strong disapproval of this policy, and I will continue to do so.

Q: But some of this money goes to protect our troops from mines and IEDs.

A: I think the best way to protect our troops is to start bringing them home.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer

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

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

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

  • Additional quotations related to Armed Forces Personnel issues can be found under Homeland Security.
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Candidates on Homeland Security:
Incumbents:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
Secy.John Kerry
Secy.Chuck Hagel

 Related issues:
Afghanistan
Gays in Military
Iranian Nukes
Iraq
Israel & Palestine
Nuclear Energy & Weapons
SDI Missile Defense
Veterans
War on Terror
WMD

2016 Presidential contenders:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Amb.John Bolton(R-MD)
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)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(D-NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(D-IL)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(R-LA)
Gov.Nikk Haley(R-SC)
Rep.Peter King(R-NY)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(D-MD)
Gov.Deval Patrick(D-MA)
Sen.Rand Paul(R-KY)
Sen.Rob Portman(R-OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(R-FL)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
2012 Presidential:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(T-MN)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(R-GA)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(R-AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(R-UT)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Sarah Palin(R-AK)
Rep.Ron Paul(R-TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(R-TX)
Gov.Mitt Romney(R-MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(R-WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(R-PA)
Donald Trump(I-NY)
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Page last updated: Oct 02, 2014