Defense29 July 2016

Notes from Norm: Protecting America In A Better Way

The following paragraph from the Associated Press should send cause America and the entire free world to shudder:

“Key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program imposed under an internationally negotiated deal will start to ease years before the 15-year accord expires, advancing Tehran’s ability to build a bomb even before the end the pact…”

This revelation comes from a secret document that also makes it clear that the Obama Administration’s assurances that a nuclear breakout would take Iran at least a year has never been factual.

According to the Associated Press story,

“But based on a comparison of outputs between the old and newer machines, if the enrichment rate doubles, that breakout time would be reduced to six months, or even less if the efficiency is more than double, a possibility the document allows for.”

As Republicans and Democrats gather this month for their national conventions one of the most important matters that should be front and center for both is the issue of national security.

The fact is, the Iranian nuclear agreement created by and advocated for by the President and his allies, must be at the core of any conversation about America’s national security.

But, it’s not just Iran that threatens America’s national security.  Our security is threatened by a host of actors throughout the world – and likely here, in our own country.

The increasing belligerence of North Korea – Putin’s growing menace to our European allies – China’s aggression against our Pacific allies – show that the Obama Doctrine was nothing more than a President hoping for a world that he was incapable of creating.

The collapse of Iraq – a devastating civil war in Syria – the rise of ISIS – these all belong to the Obama Administration.

It is his foreign policy legacy.

Beyond what is happening outside of our borders is what we know is taking place inside our borders.

There can no longer be any doubt that radical Islamic terror groups are infiltrating our borders – gaining access to the social media tools they need to recruit inside of America – and helping to radicalize others to commit acts of terror in their name in our country.

The Obama Administration has spent so much time trying to convince Americans that if we just watered down our 2nd Amendment rights and turned in all of our guns the world would be a safer place to live.

Again – this is a world the President sees in his head that doesn’t translate at all to the world we live in.

Despite what the President wants us to believe, his Administration is leaving America in a more dangerous place than ever – leaving a vacuum in the world where American leadership once existed –confusing our allies and emboldening our enemies.

Americans do have a choice this year when they go to the polls.

Not just for President – but in who controls the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House.

And, it makes a difference.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan understands all too well that the checks and balances of power in our federal government has atrophied.  His vision for a better way of American leadership in the world – and congressional leadership to ensure that America’s values are upheld – is the basis for “A Better Way” – a white paper that outlines how a GOP Congress will lead America forward in the future.

The “A Better Way” vision for improved national security is entitled, “Achieving U.S. Security Through Leadership & Security” and focuses on the following critical elements:

1.)     Keeping Americans Safe at Home
2.)    Defeating Terrorists
3.)    Defending Freedom and Advancing American Interests
4.)    Renewing our National Security Tools

Common sense principles, to be sure.

But principles don’t matter if there’s not the ability to make them reality.

And, the actions we take to address these principles must involve and engage Congress.

Actions rooted in the Constitution – not the fanciful and feckless whims of a President.

First and foremost, America must secure its borders and keep terrorists out of America.  

This isn’t about rounding up those who are in America illegally and deporting them.  A solution to a problem that is unrealistic and harmful as deliberately doing nothing to know who is here, why they are here and where they are living.

It’s about using all of the tools available to us to keep our borders secure – knowing where illegal immigrants are – and what they are doing.

We also have to keep terrorists from using the cyber world and dark web to radicalize and incite violence against America.

At best the terrorists who murdered in San Bernardino and Orlando were radicalized by the sick propaganda of radical Islamic terror groups.  At worst we will see terrorists being directed to conduct acts of terror in our communities throughout America.

Terrorists and criminals – are working hard to hold the upper hand in utilizing the cyber world for their criminal and terroristic enterprise.  We must work harder and smarter to stay ahead of them.

Second, we do need to defeat terrorists.

This means acknowledging terrorists by name – and admitting that there is a Global War on Terror we are waging – and must win. It means we also have to stand up for human dignity and liberty in the world – even when it’s hard – especially when it’s hard.

Among the principles outlined in “A Better Way” is the recognition that U.S. leadership does matter in the world and that we must build “…a more active international coalition under strong U.S. leadership.”

We don’t have to be the world’ policeman – but we do have to be prepared to lead.  And, under nearly 8 years of the Obama Administration American leadership has not only dissolved it has been challenged time and time again by our adversaries.

Third, we need to Defend Freedom and Advance American Interests.

We need to stand up to Russia – push back against China’s claims of ownership in places where they are not legitimate – and engage with our partners in Asia to protect all of us from a hostile and belligerent North Korea.

We need to be honest about the dangerous Iranian nuclear agreement and that nation’s leader’s never ending desire to destroy Israel. The President gave Iran everything they need to be one of the most dangerous powers in the world.

We cannot be timid in a world in which despots and tyrants believe American resolve is lacking.  It means greater investment in our allies – stronger partnerships with other nations like India – and having the best trained, equipped and prepared military and defense on Earth.

Finally, we must renew our National Security Tools.

Enhancing military readiness – supporting those who serve in our Armed Forces – supporting those who have fulfilled their military serve to America – are all at the core of our investment in the national security tools we need to keep America safe.

In addition, robust diplomacy doesn’t concede our commitment to liberty and democracy around the world.  Rather, it is rooted in liberty and democracy and doesn’t compromise or sacrifice in the face of aggression or threats.

Supporting local law enforcement and sharing intelligence across the broad network of those empowered to protect America at every level is critical to the preservation of safety and security for every corner of this great nation.

On the first night of the Democratic National Convention not one of its 61 speakers mentioned ISIS.

When Leon Panetta, a bastion of the party and former head of the CIA and Secretary of Defense bothered to mention the terror threat against America – he was booed.

Democrats continue their modern day revisionism about the threats America faces in the world this week in Philadelphia.  Led by a President who has assured them everything in America and the world is great because he is a great leader they ignore the real threats to America’s national security.

Whether Clinton or Trump is the name of the next President remains to be seen.  What is for certain is whoever occupies the White House the role of Congress will be more important than ever before.

America needs a Congress that is stronger and more engaged than ever before.

It’s a better way to a safer, more secure America.