Defending Our Homeland and Winning the War on Terror
Shortly after September 11th, Denny Hastert pledged to the American people to do all he could to work with members of Congress and President Bush to make America safer. The first responsibility of our government is to defend American citizens. Nothing is more important than the defense of our borders, our cities and our rural areas. The world remains a dangerous place, and our government's top priority must be national security. Every action taken by the U.S. Government overseas, whether diplomatic, economic, or militarily, should be judged in part by whether it improves the safety, security and well-being of Americans at home and abroad.
Republicans agree with President Bush that the War on Terror is a new kind of battle our country has not faced before. In centuries past, America's isolation – thanks to two broad oceans – helped protect us from territorial wars and foreign invasion. But as September 11 th , 2001, made us too painfully aware, the United States will be increasingly susceptible to new threats: biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, electronic warfare, and sabotage.
President Bush and the Republican Congress are implementing a comprehensive strategy to defend Americans against terror. Today, in the early stages of what is likely to be a long War against Terrorism, we must invest in and strengthen our national security infrastructure. The only area in the federal budget realizing a significant spending increase is in the area of national security – for the Pentagon, for the intelligence community, and for homeland initiatives.
America must have the most effective and well-trained fighting force in the world. Our Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are only as strong as our weakest soldier, sailor, or airman. All the technological advances won't save us if we fail to ensure that our armed forces are the most highly skilled, best-trained force in the world. We need to treat our troops with respect and pay them what they deserve. With a renewed emphasis on innovative technologies being used in Afghanistan and Iraq, we will be more prepared for tomorrow's battles thanks to superior equipment and superior troops trained to use it. And so far, our investment in the global War on Terror is yielding significant results. The Taliban has been eradicated; two-thirds of Al Quaeda's Leadership has been captured or killed; and, Iraq's evil dictator Saddam Hussein is out of power and behind bars.
We must root out terrorists where they plan, train and hide. No longer can we sit idly by before taking action to protect American security in all places – from local airports and shopping malls to nuclear power plants and military installations. The War on Terror is not a simple police action. Republicans believe our government must use its full force to stop terrorists in Baghdad and Kabul, than to let them wreak havoc and catastrophe in Springfield and Chicago.