Defense & National Security
It seems nearly every year the military budget is a bargaining chip in a new political argument. Our brave men and women in uniform should be given every tool necessary to complete their missions safely and successfully. Those decisions are best made by our generals and admirals with firsthand knowledge of our military's capability and preparedness; not by politicians hoping to secure defense contracts for their home district, Democrats hoping to reduce defense spending for the sake of welfare programs, or a president who wants to fund a concrete wall across the border.
Of course, military action should only be undertaken as a last resort. It is always preferable for diplomacy to find non-military solutions to geopolitical events that threaten our security and national interests. We must empower our state department and restore the funding for diplomatic missions that President Trump cut his first year in office. It is vital that we re-build and strengthen our alliances. We should expect our allies to contribute the financial resources to which they agreed when joining NATO, but threatening to leave the alliance is foolish. In the event of hostilities with one of our adversaries, such as China or Russia, committed allies will be of critical importance.
We must always remember that our fighting men and women do not serve alone. When they deploy to combat zones, are ordered to stations around the world, or sent on training missions for months at a time, they leave behind family members who anxiously await their return. It is vital that we increase support resources to provide servicemembers and their loved ones peace of mind. In addition, recent years have seen a rash of issues on military bases, such as substandard housing and sexual assault. Such problems undermine military readiness and morale and are inexcusable for a society that values its military members. I pledge that I will take active steps in my first term to improve the home front for our servicemembers.