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America’s national security is of utmost importance.  As a constitutionalist, I believe that providing for our nation's common defense is the core responsibility of the federal government. I am a strong supporter of our troops and have consistently voted to provide them with the resources they need to accomplish their missions.

The United States Constitution was created—as the Preamble states— in part “to provide for the common defence”.  Article I, Section 8 of our Founding Charter goes on to give Congress the power “to raise and support Armies” and “to provide and maintain a Navy.”   It is also Congress’ constitutional duty to declare war—a difficult decision that the Founding Fathers intentionally left to the legislative branch so that the will of the people would be followed.  Given these duties, the Congress then has a primary responsibility to ensure our service members receive the resources they need to perform the critical job of protecting our nation and its interests.  

In recent decades, we have seen the proliferation of radicalized terrorist organizations and movements bent on destroying Western nations and their influence.  We must remain vigilant opposing these threats and defending our values. In order to fully protect this nation, we must have strong active duty service branches; a well-organized law enforcement system at the federal, state, and local levels; and well-trained guardsmen and reservists.  To meet these objectives, I have supported national security policy bills, defense appropriations bills, the National Defense Authorization Act and many other homeland security related initiatives.

Unfortunately, America has been engaged in an endless conflicts, particularly in the Middle East, for nearly two decades.  These forever conflicts come with a heavy price, including the loss of precious lives and billions upon billions of taxpayer money spent.  Our military should be used to effectively neutralize enemies quickly, and then return to the home base. There was no reason to keep our troops in harm’s way for a generation, long after the active military campaign had ended. 

For too long, presidents of both parties have abused authorizations for the use of military force to justify and defend military operations across the globe.  At the same time, Congress has ceded too much power to presidents by not questioning the wars we are fighting for generations.  Congress must debate and consider sunsetting endless wars authorized decades ago.

An America First military policy means military action should be used to defend our homeland, and only for as long as is necessary. It does not mean setting up an occupying army in foreign lands, wasting billions of dollars “rebuilding” foreign countries and costing countless lives while doing so.  It’s time to end forever wars.