Jan 152015
 

We launched Operation Enduring Freedom on October 7, 2001 to avenge the attacks on our World Trade Center and Pentagon a month earlier. While in Afghanistan rooting out Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, we got sidetracked and spent the next 8 years capturing Saddam Hussein and rebuilding war-torn Iraq. By the end of 2011, we had left Iraq and dispatched Bin Laden and much of Al-Qaeda, but we are still conducting military operations in this inhospitable country. More than 6,800 American troops, and nearly the same number of contractors, have been killed fighting these wars. More than 52,000 troops have also been wounded, and more than 875,000 war veterans have joined the disability rolls so far. These statistics do not include the many suicides committed by military personnel, the estimated 225,000 civilian casualties, or the $4 trillion these wars have cost our Treasury.

Before concluding military operations in Afghanistan, the Obama administration signed a bilateral security agreement with the new Afghan government which allows 9,800 American troops to be stationed in Afghanistan for the next 10 years. The stated purpose of leaving these troops behind is to train and support Afghan security forces. However, the pact also calls for our Special Operations forces to conduct counterterrorism missions there. Those who agree with leaving a contingent of troops in this country say we should fully train, equip and support Afghan security forces to ensure they can protect their government. They claim if this had been done in Iraq, ISIS would not have been able to nearly overrun that country. Critics say there is no purpose in leaving troops behind –except to turn a prolonged war into an indefinite one. They say training native security forces will not ensure Afghan security. They point to the failure of 900,000 well-equipped Iraqi soldiers, most of whom we trained over the course of many years, to halt the advance of less than 50,000 lightly-armed ISIS fighters.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.125 – Congressional Oversight of Afghanistan Agreements Act of 2013

H.R.200 – Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act

I oppose reforming current Afghanistan War policy and wish to defeat H.R.125 and H.R.200

I support expressing the sense of Congress that any bilateral agreement between the United States and Afghanistan involving commitments or risks affecting the nation as a whole, including a Bilateral Security Agreement, that is not a treaty approved by two-thirds of the Senate under Article II of the Constitution or authorized by legislation does not have the force of law, and wish to pass H.R.125

I support ensuring that funds for operations of the Armed Forces in Afghanistan are to be used only for providing for the safe and orderly withdrawal of all U.S. military personnel and Department of Defense contractor personnel in Afghanistan, and wish to pass H.R

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

It is estimated that China has about 240 nuclear warheads including those intended for its ballistic submarine fleet which is not yet operational. China also has about 150 mostly mobile land-based missiles capable of striking any U.S. city. For more than 50 years, China has also been constructing a network of highly reinforced military bunkers and 3,000 miles of underground tunnels in which to hide and protect its strategic nuclear force. It has also developed Multiple Independently-targeted Reentry Vehicle (MIRV) technology which allows multiple warheads to be mounted on a single missile to destroy several targets. China is apparently pursuing a strategy of détente in which its missile force could survive a first strike launched against it and still be able to retaliate with a second-strike launch. Some say we need to build a defense against this threat. However, the Chinese and Russians are both outspoken opponents of a U.S. ballistic missile defense system. They worry that such a system could negate their second-strike capability and leave them vulnerable to a first strike attack. Analysts say this could force them into attacking us first. They say our strategic relationship with China and Russia is quickly becoming a copy of the one we had with the Soviet Union before the Berlin wall came down. They also claim Beijing and Moscow can easily build enough ICBMs to exceed the interception capability of any conceivable missile defense system. These nations have warned that deploying such a system would trigger a new arms race.

North Korea is quickly becoming a threat to our security. It has at least a dozen nuclear warheads, some miniaturized for missile use. Its missiles can now strike Guam and Hawaii and will soon be able to reach our West Coast. To counter this threat, we have been developing a Nationwide Missile Defense (NMD) program since the 1990s. The NMD program has limited scope and is designed to counter a relatively small attack from an unsophisticated adversary. NMD is not capable of protecting us from a large-scale ICBM/MIRV attack launched by China or Russia. In response to North Korea’s threats, our Pentagon has deployed 14 of these missile interceptors on Guam. To Russia’s displeasure, we have also been installing these interceptors in Europe to protect allies from countries like Iran.

Aside from the Cold War déjà vu, missile defense opponents say we are far from deploying an ICBM shield. The requirements of an anti-ballistic missile system are considerable, and include the ability to discern missiles from decoys and destroying multiple targets in space. Supporters say this will add to our security. Critics, including many scientists, say we do not have the technology to reliably “hit a bullet with a bullet.” They claim that building such a system will waste hundreds of billions of dollars, start an arms race, and increase the likelihood of a nuclear first strike against us. They also warn of the consequences of depending on a missile defense system that doesn’t work if we are attacked.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.1128 – Protecting U.S. Missile Defense Information Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current National Missile Defense policy and wish to defeat H.R.1128

I oppose developing a national anti-ballistic missile defense system and wish to identify a legislator who will sponsor a bill to terminate all funding for this program

I support prohibiting Department of Defense funds for 2014 or thereafter from being used to provide the Russian Federation with access to U.S. missile defense hit-to-kill technology, or telemetry data with respect to missile defense interceptors or target vehicles; declaring that the United States shall not be bound by the terms of any executive agreement relating to U.S. missile defense capabilities, including basing, locations, and numbers of missiles and wish to pass H.R.1128

I support declaring the policy of the United States with respect to design and deployment of a missile defense system capable of defending the national territory of the United States against ballistic missile attack, and wish to identify a legislator who will reintroduce H.R.1453 Security Against Nuclear Enemies Act of 2003 (108th Congress, 2003-2004)

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Our military wants to retire ships, airplanes and other equipment that are outdated or too expensive to maintain or upgrade. However, Congress refuses to comply with our Army, Navy and Air Force’s requests to decommission these vessels, vehicles and aircraft. Critics say politics are to blame for the resistance to cut military programs that may financially affect a legislator’s district. It is estimated this resistance will cost taxpayers at least $5 billion over the next 2 years. Frustrated military leaders complain that the 2013 sequester cuts are forcing them to furlough contractors, ground Air Force training flights and delay or cancel ship deployments while Congress refuses to accept savings that could prevent these cuts. Our Navy has seven cruisers, two amphibious warships and two combat support ships they want to retire and save taxpayers about $5 billion over two years. Our Air Force wants to save us more than $600 million by retiring thirty-four C-130 and C-5A cargo aircraft, three B-1 bombers and eighteen high-altitude Global Hawk surveillance drones. Lawmakers from both parties have spent nearly half a billion dollars over the past two years building improved versions of the Abrams tank that our Army doesn’t need or want.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current unwanted weapons policy

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill requiring mandatory decommissioning or scrapping of all weapons, vehicles, vessels and aircraft recommended by the Pentagon

 Posted by at 12:00 am