Mitch Daniels on Homeland Security
Republican IN Governor
WMD and National Debt, the two greatest dangers to America
The shocking run-up in US national debt has been paralleled by a similar leap in the share owed to foreigners, which climbed from 30% in 2001 to 46% in 2009. We are now borrowing the entire defense budget (we've been spending about $700 billion a year on
defense while running a deficit of about $1.4 trillion), much of it from the very countries, most notably China, against whom our forces might one day have to be deployed. Fiscal failure will inevitably lead to defense decline.
Today's America faces tw
dangers that rise to the level that threaten our national survival. The first is the emergence of Islamist religious fanatics in potential possessions of weapons of mass destruction. The second threat is much more abstract and is posed not by a foreign
enemy but by our own past and current imprudence. Today's clearest and most present danger is the Red Menace [the national deficit]. We either deal decisively with the threat, or simply let it ruin our nation, our standard of living, our way of life.
Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p. 30-31&154
, Sep 20, 2011
Defense spending must be reviewed for budget cuts
No area of the budget can be off-limits, and it is incumbent on a person of my party, traditionally the advocate of national defense, to include military spending among the items for critical inspection.
The willingness of the United States to build and maintain the dominant military has been a blessing to the world.
But when we are borrowing the entire defense budget two times over and facing debts that could quickly bankrupt us, or through rapidly climbing interest payments, starve those very capabilities that have protected us and others,
basic questions are in order: What size and kind of military is absolutely essential to preserve the physical safety of Americans? What, very strictly defined, are the national interests of our country? OUR country.
Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p.210
, Sep 20, 2011
Rampant waste in defense spending
In defense spending, waste is rampant (the Pentagon is the original home of the phrase "It costs what it costs") and excess genetic. At the federal Office of Management and Budget, they say that the
Department of Defense motto should be "Wait! There's a harder way!" But protecting
Americans for a lot less money cannot happen just by better procurement or a couple fewer weapons systems or, to take a more recent cost driver, less exorbitant lifetime health care benefits. It will have to involve a reassessment of the pyramid,
worldwide tasks we have assigned our forces. Missions cost money, and we cannot simply demand that our soldiers continue to take on the same amount of work for a lot less of it.
Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p.211
, Sep 20, 2011
Limit defense missions to the vital interests of our country
What, very strictly defined are the national interests of our country? OUR country. The answer may or may not encompass the mission to which presidents of both parties have at various times committed us, to attempt to spread universally the human rights
we hold dear. As Henry Kissinger has said, "The freedom of every single independent nation had become the national objective, irrespective of those nations' strategic importance to the United States." Instead, quoting
Dr. Kissinger from his book "Diplomacy", we should be "careful not to multiply moral commitments while the financial and military resources for the conducts of a global foreign policy are being curtailed." One other point
Kissinger made in "Diplomacy" comes to mind: that "our foreign policy must begin with the definition of what constitutes a vital interest--a change in the international environment so likely to undermine the national security that it must be resisted."
Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p.210-211
, Sep 20, 2011
No free pass for national defense in budget cuts
Nothing, not even the first and most important mission of government, our national defense, can get a free pass. I served in two administrations that practiced and validated the policy of peace through strength. It has served America and the world with
irrefutable success. But if our nation goes over a financial Niagara, we won't have much strength and, eventually, we won't have peace. We are currently borrowing the entire defense budget from foreign investors. Within a few years, we will be spending
more on interest payments than on national security. That is not, as our military friends say, a "robust strategy."
I personally favor restoring impoundment power to the presidency, at least on an emergency basis.
Having had this authority the last six years, and used it shall we say with vigor, I can testify to its effectiveness, and to this finding: You'd be amazed how much government you'll never miss.
Source: 2011 Conservative Political Action Conf. Keynote
, Feb 10, 2011
Page last updated: Apr 25, 2013