With ISIS at the forefront of everyone’s minds, national security has become an incredibly important issue. The current administration is being faced with a war on terror that is becoming more and more urgent.
National security is an ever-evolving issue, because both the threats that face this nation and the ways that we respond to them have evolved over the years. Democratic views on national security revolve around making sure that American troops “have the training, equipment, and support that they need when they are deployed and the care that they and their families need and deserve when they return home.” They see national security as being about more than border security. It is also about training troops to be equipped to handle new threats as they appear. Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and President Obama have made it a priority to modernize troops and eliminate outdated programs. The eliminating of outdated programs serves a dual purpose: making training programs more modern and cutting out unnecessary spending within the defense budget. They also believe in improving communication between national intelligence and local law enforcement, so that we can better act on information provided by intelligence channels.
Many Democrats see National Security as being broken down into three distinct pieces, stating “today, we face three great challenges above all others – first, to win the global war against terror; second, to stop the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; and third, to promote democracy and freedom around the world, starting with a peaceful and stable Iraq. To meet these challenges, we need a new national security policy guided by four new imperatives: First, America must launch and lead a new era of alliances for the post-September 11 world. Second, we must modernize the world’s most powerful military to meet the new threats. Third, in addition to our military might, we must deploy all that is in America’s arsenal – our diplomacy, our intelligence system, our economic power, and the appeal of our values and ideas. Fourth and finally, to safeguard our freedom and ensure our nation’s future, we must end our dependence on Mideast oil.”
Democrats believe in focusing not only on confronting terrorism, but in ensuring that constitutional values are being upheld while they do so. The 2012 Democratic Party Platform stated, “We must always seek to uphold our values at home, not just when it is easy, but, more importantly, when it is hard. Advancing our interests may involve new actions and policies to confront threats like terrorism, but the President and the Democratic Party believe these practices must always be in line with our Constitution, preserve our people’s privacy and civil liberties, and withstand the checks and balances that have served us so well.” In support of this belief, President Obama banned torture, with no exceptions, very early on in his presidency. This is also the reasoning behind reducing the population of Guantanamo Bay, and in not adding further prisoners there.
Democrats believe in being fully honest with troops and the general public, stating “we will protect Americans at home and lead the world by telling the truth to our troops, our citizens and our allies. We believe in a strong national defense that is both tough and smart, recognizing that homeland security begins with hometown security.”
Democrats believe in strongly safeguarding nuclear material, and wish to stop the creation of new nuclear material. They want to see a thorough catalog created of the material that is currently in existence, and then have it locked away. They also support the development of a limited national missile defense system.
Democrats vs. Republicans on National Security
Democrats strongly oppose the overuse of military, which is something they feel that Republicans often support, stating “among Republicans, the percentage endorsing diplomacy in preference to military action is minimal, while Democrats take the opposite point of view. In the approach to combating terrorism, 2/3 of Republicans believe that use of overwhelming force is best, while an even larger proportion of Democrats think that, although our armed forces should be used when our nation’s security is threatened, excessive use of military action tends to increase animosity against our country and breed more terrorists.”
Democrats severely criticize President Bush and his start to the war on terrorism. They believe that the improving intelligence both worldwide and at home is the best approach to stopping terrorists, stating, “we must do what President Bush has refused to do – reform our intelligence system by creating a true Director of National Intelligence with real control of intelligence personnel and budgets. We must train more analysts in languages spoken by terrorists. And we must break down the old communications barriers between national intelligence and local law enforcement, taking care to fully preserve our liberties.”
While Democrats support the building of a limited national missile defense system, they oppose building as widespread a system as Republicans would like to see, believing it would risk beginning a new arms race.
Barack Obama on National Security
President Obama has made preventing terrorism worldwide a priority of his administration. To do so, he has invested a great deal in information sharing, as well as in promoting information sharing among our allies. Through these tactics, he hopes to strengthen America’s ability to keep nuclear and biological weapons out of the hands of terrorists. He also hopes to address efforts to create more secure borders, and improve the defense of our national infrastructure.
During President Obama’s time in office, he and his party have taken several actions in regards to homeland security. Recently, the Department of Defense has released an updated Nuclear Posture Review, which outlines stricter guidelines for when nuclear weapons could be used, hoping to prevent nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. President Obama has withdrawn 140,000 troops from Iraq during his time in office, and by doing so ahs turned security responsibility over to Iraqi Security Forces. He has also signed a new START treaty, which pledges to reduce the number of nuclear warheads maintained by both the United States and Russia. Democrats have also passed the Southwest Border Security Supplemental, which is meant to “bolster the work of federal law enforcement officials and improve their ability to partner with state, local, and tribal law enforcement.”
- National Security – Democrats.org
- Democratic Party on Homeland Security – On The Issues
- Democratic Views On Homeland Security
- Republican Views on National Security
- Republican Views On Homeland Security
- Republican Views on War
- Republican Views On Terrorism
- Republican Views on National Defense
- Republican Views on Military Spending
- Republican Views on Defense Spending
- Democratic Views on the Military
- Democratic Views on Defense Spending