War is a very broad topic, and every administration seems to have their own views on how to prevent it and how to fight it when the time comes. Republican views on war involve fighting when necessary, and not always defaulting to diplomacy. That is not to say that Republicans do not believe in preventing war when it is preventable. Of course they will not fight a war they do not feel is necessary. However, they feel that backing down when a threat is presented can be more harmful than the consequences of a war. For this reason, Republicans believe that a country must always be prepared for war. They must properly maintain a military and the proper defense systems.
Combatting terrorism is the most relevant war-related issue today. Republicans believe adamantly in combatting terrorism overseas, before terrorists can attack our home. The Republican Party Platform states, “Terrorists long ago declared war on America, and now America has declared war against terrorists. We are defending the peace by taking the fight to the enemy. We are confronting terrorists overseas so we do not have to confront them here at home. We are destroying the leadership of terrorist networks in sudden raids, disrupting their planning and financing, and keeping them on the run. We are shrinking the space in which they can freely operate, by denying them territory and the support of governments.” Republicans oppose any negotiations with terrorists. This situation in particular must be faced with the utmost strength. The party believes terrorists can not be reformed, so no mercy must be shown, stating, “Only total & complete destruction of terrorism will allow freedom to flourish. We will extend the peace by supporting the rise of democracy, and the hope and progress that democracy brings, as the alternative to hatred and terror in the Middle East. In democratic societies, people do not swear allegiance to malcontents and murderers; they turn their hearts and labor to building better lives.”
Republicans and Biowarfare
Republicans believe in developing biodefense systems in preparation for biowarfare. They wish to see an increase in a bioterrorism defense budget, and support former President Bush’s Project BioShield. They believe that BioShield “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 not only to the protection of this country, but also to the continuation of the war on terror. They wish to see this war on terror 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 and a Traditional Military
The Republican Party believes that a strong military is the key to strength in times of war, stating, “U.S. forces must be agile, lethal, readily deployable, and require a minimum of logistical support. They must also be fully prepared for possible enemy use of weapons of mass destruction.” The Party believes that this can be done, but in order to achieve this goal, “the US must align its military power with the strengths of American society: our skilled people, our advanced technology, and our proficiency at integrating fast-paced systems into potent networks. We will not forget that the strength of our military lies with the combat soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine.”
Republicans believe that the strongest military will be one that maintains traditional values. To this end, Republicans support removing homosexuals from the armed forces, due to the belief that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service.” For the same reasons, they support the advancement of women in the military, buy also support “their exemption from ground combat units, and call for the end of co-ed training.”
Republicans and a Missile Defense System
Republicans strongly support the building and maintaining of a national missile defense system, stating, “America must deploy effective missile defenses, based on an evaluation of the best available options, including sea-based, at the earliest possible date.” They wish to see this system designed to protect not only all 50 states, but also “America’s deployed forces overseas, and our friends and allies in the fellowship of freedom against missile attacks by outlaw states or accidental launches.”
The Use of Force as a Deterrent
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 and the Defense Budget
The Republican Party believes strongly in an increased military defense budget. In 2000 the party spoke out in defense of raising this budget, citing the fact that the administration had cut defense spending to its lowest percentage of gross domestic product since 1939. Republican views on military spending include the belief that raising this budget is the only way to “restore the health of a defense industry weakened by a combination of neglect and misguided policies.” Republicans also believe that this lowered budget has been a large contributor to the lower morale among members of the armed forces. In its call to action for a higher budget for defense, Republicans noted that “the US military faces growing problems in readiness, morale, and its ability to prepare for the threats of the future,” and that these problems arose as the military budgets were cut.
- A Republican Foreign Policy – Foreign Affairs
- Republican Party on Defense – On the Issues
- Republican Party on War & Peace – On the Issues
- The Republican Party and the Defense Budget Problem – Washington Monthly
- Republican Views On Homeland Security
- Republican Views on National Defense
- Republican Views on National Security
- Republican Views On Terrorism
- Republican Views On The Military
- Democratic Views On Homeland Security
- Democratic Views on National Security
- Democratic Views on the Military
- Democratic Views on Defense Spending
- Republican Views on Defense Spending