Senate candidate Jay Townsend (R-NY) on defense

Senate candidate Jay Townsend (R-NY) is, except a few points, absolutely right on defense:

“The United States has been the greatest force for good that humanity has ever seen. We have liberated more people from tyranny than any nation on earth. Our armed forces have proudly crossed oceans and braved deserts so that millions of oppressed could enjoy in some small measure the freedoms we too often take for granted. All we have ever asked of any ally is a plot of land in which to bury the brave American soldiers who died on foreign soil.

The United States has been able to do these good deeds only because we are the mightiest military power on earth.

The ruling elites who now advocate the Europeanization of the United States fail to heed the lessons of history; every European Empire now lies in the dustbin of history, the authors of their own demise, their atrophied armies the byproduct of countries that overreached, borrowed unwisely, devalued their currency and starved their once mighty armies.

Unlike Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan, President Obama is leading this nation into military retreat, reducing the funds needed to equip our soldiers, maintain our military, and ceding to Russia and China superiority in space, endangering our security and undercutting scientific advances.

The appalling and unnecessary atrophy of our space program is just the beginning.  As spending on government programs we don’t need and cannot afford skyrocket, the resources needed to maintain our military shrink. The President’s  defense budget would slash defense spending in the coming years, reducing it to just 3% of Gross Domestic Product, below our current spending levels, and substantially below where it was during the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton years. Moreover, as more of our defense budget is shifted to operations, even less is devoted to modernization, investments that are critical to keep us safe, secure and preserving our status as the world’s preeminent superpower.

Declining military investments have consequences.  It means that America’s technological superiority will falter.  We will have shortages in equipment and fall behind other nations in research and advances in weaponry.   We will be unable to pay our soldiers a competitive wage and thus be unable to attract high-quality recruits. The Wall Street Journal warns that the Obama administration may be returning to the mistakes of the 1990’s when Bill Clinton sharply reduced defense and intelligence spending.  The result was that we were unprepared and unready when terrorists attacked our shores in 2001.

I believe that we must increase defense spending to ensure that we have a robust military that remains the envy of the world.  A weakened military will only encourage more terrorist attacks against innocent Americans and invite more aggression against the United States. America must have a clear and consistent foreign policy that gives comfort to our friends and pause to our enemies.  Unlike Senator Schumer, I will never quietly tolerate any President who treats Israel as an adversary and our enemies as allies.

With challenges from terrorists in the Middle East, sleeper cells spread across the world, and a newly energized Russia and China now bent on military superiority, it is vital that America modernize and strengthen its military capabilities.

We need a missile defense system that protects our country from the threat of ballistic missiles.  We need to expand the size of our armed forces to ease the burdens on troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. We need a fully functioning intelligence operation in possession of all the tools needed to thwart terrorist attacks on Americans and a well-funded CIA to stop terrorists before they step foot on American soil.”

The few points on which he’s wrong are:

1) Sadly, America is no longer the mightiest country on Earth. China is.

2) America’s technological edge is already history. China’s military is technologically superior by many measures.

3) Obama’s current defense spending level is slightly above that of the last Clinton years (FYs1998-2001), but below the levels of the early Clinton years (FYs1994-1997). Obama plans to reduce defense spending to 3% of GDP, the level of the last Clinton years.


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