National security is a heavy issue, with the war on terror raging on all fronts. As per the 2012 Republican Party Platform, Republican views on national security revolved around “the right of the people to be secure in their houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
Republicans believe in developing biodefense systems. They wish to see an increase in a bioterrorism defense budget. They support former President Bush’s Project BioShield, believing it “provides new tools to improve medical countermeasures protecting Americans against a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack; putting in place major new biodefense capabilities; creating the Container Security Initiative to screen cargo for the US; and deploying missile defenses to defend the US and its friends and allies.” These are all defense capabilities that Republicans view as vital to the protection of this country and the continuation of the war on terror. They wish to see national security fought on multiple fronts, including striking down terrorists before they attack, eliminating terrorist financing sources from around the world, and giving law enforcement and intelligence agents the tools to combat organized crime and drug trafficking.
Republicans believe in displaying military power as a deterrent to terrorism, stating that “we must deter any adversary who would attack us or use terror as a tool of government. Every potential enemy must have no doubt that our capabilities, our commitment, and our will to defeat them are clear, unwavering, and unequivocal. We must immediately employ a new blueprint for a National Military Strategy that is based on an informed and validated assessment of the potential threats we face, one that restores as a principal objective the deterrence using the full spectrum of our military capabilities.” They believe that this includes maintaining superior aircraft and armored vehicles, as well as maintaining state-of-the-art surveillance and unmanned security system. Two thirds of Republicans believe that the use of overwhelming force is best when facing a terrorist threat.
Republicans believe firmly in protecting the people against unreasonable searches and seizures. Because of this, they are opposed to legislation that would allow government aerial surveillance or flyovers on U.S. soil. The only cases in which Republicans support such measures is in the case of border patrolling. They explain this belief by stating, “all security measures and police actions should be viewed through the lens of the Fourth Amendment; for if we trade liberty for security, we shall have neither.”
In the aftermath of September 11, the Transportation Security Administration was formed. Republicans believe that this administration needs to be reformed. It has since devolved into “a massive bureaucracy of 65,000 employees who seem to be accountable to no one,” and they wish to see airport screenings taken over by the private sector. They also wish to see an end to “the personal violation of frisking” as part of airport security measures.
Republicans vs. Democrats on National Security
Republicans are highly critical of the way that the current administration is handling the war on terror. They believe that “the current Administration has responded with weakness to some of the gravest threats to our national security this country has faced, including the proliferation of transnational terrorism, continued belligerence by a nuclear-armed North Korea, an Iran in pursuit of nuclear weapons, rising Chinese hegemony in the Asia Pacific region, Russian activism, and threats from cyber espionage and terrorism.” They strongly disagree with Obama’s cutting of the defense budget, saying that this action will “take a meat ax to all major defense programs.” Republicans strongly disagree with the Democratic preference of diplomacy in the case of terrorism. Democrats believe that the use of force can breed animosity, and cause more terrorists to strike against the United States, while Republicans see force as the most effective way to quash terrorism.
Republicans on President Bush’s National Security
Post 9/11, President Bush faced the start to the war on terror, which the Obama administration has since faced the challenge of continuing. He has faced both praise and criticism for his reaction to the September 11th attacks. The 2004 Republican Party platform clearly shows how Republicans felt about Bush’s response, stating, “Bush answered the challenge of 9/11, not only with steadfast resolve, but also with vision, optimism, and unshakable confidence in the will and faith of the American people. That is what we all saw on 9/14, when Bush stood with the brave workers at Ground Zero and resolutely assured our nation amidst our shock, anger, and grief that while the terrorists had struck first, America would have the last word. The President’s most solemn duty is to protect our country. Bush has kept that charge.”
Republicans support the Patriot Act, stating, “the Patriot Act gives law enforcement and intelligence agents the tools that have long been available to fight organized crime and drug trafficking. It also made it possible for law enforcement and intelligence agents to share information and coordinate efforts to prevent terrorism. The 9/11 Commission rightly praised the Patriot Act’s role in improving information sharing. Since the Patriot Act was passed, 4 terrorist cells have been broken up inside the US and more than 189 individuals have been convicted or pled guilty to terrorism-related offenses.”
Mitt Romney on National Security
Mitt Romney, like many Republicans, would like to see an increase in Defense spending. He wishes to see military spending be 4 percent of the country’s GDP. He also believes that the active duty workforce should be increased by ten thousand.
Romney supports the wire-tapping of Islamic Mosques to monitor for terrorists. He believes that the FBI should be given the right to wire-tap said Mosques, as well as monitor any new Muslims that have come to live in the U.S. He also believes in a global and non-military effort to combat Jihadists, stating, “I want to bring in a real strong team of people who have different backgrounds, a lot from the private sector, and I want to take on a whole series of efforts.” Romney also believes in increasing the number of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
Republican Party on Homeland Security – On The Issues
- Republican Views On Homeland Security
- Democratic Views on National Security
- Republican Views on National Defense
- Democratic Views On Homeland Security
- Republican Views on Defense Spending
- Republican Views On The Military
- Republican Views on Military Spending
- Democratic Views On Military Spending
- Democratic Views on Defense Spending
- Democratic Views on the Military