When you listen to the political conventions, there will be a checklist of items both parties will run through making their pitch to voters. The Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and how a potential Biden administration might lead through a global pandemic will be a focal point for the DNC. The Republicans will talk about immigration, U.S. energy independence, and the success of the American economy. But even if we can all agree to create one hundred billion new jobs; create a health care system that’s patient-centered and provides greater quality; and find the cure for COVID, the fact remains that the world outside the borders of the United States still remains a very dangerous place.
Over the last four years, we’ve neutralized ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. It was recently announced that we’ve brokered a peace deal between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel. And, the Trump Administration has worked to give our nation’s war fighters with the most innovative technology that allows them to execute their missions safely and successfully while defending our nation.
But there are still countries seeking to do us harm.
So while there will be a lot of talk over the next two weeks about how each party has an agenda to move our country forward. But the most consequential thing a President does is serve as Commander in Chief to the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform. Each candidate needs to explain the geopolitical threats to our country, how they will lead our men and women and what tools they propose to give the that supports their mission.
One of those tools is the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program and it’s in dire need of resources. There is some money in Senate version of the “Phase 4” coronavirus relief plan being negotiated between House Democrats and the White House, but some is not enough to make our missile defense program better. Our collective national defense should be a priority to the Congress and the next administration, and we need the GMD program fully funded because it protects our homeland.
We can also appropriate increased funding to update the ‘Kill Vehicles’ that function as the projectile that destroys incoming missiles. According to Defense News on August 21, 2019, “the Pentagon has moved from taking a “strategic pause” on the Redesigned Kill Vehicle program to outright killing it.”
This raises the bigger concern that with so much money being spent on Coronavirus relief, are we risking our national security? One can assume that as a country we can walk and chew gum at the same time, but both parties should explain to the American people how they manage to recover from the war we’re facing with COVID to make sure we’re on war footing and can protect our homeland from geopolitical threats around the globe.
It would be wise for former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump to spend some time mapping out the defenses that they propose to use to protect America from a missile attack or other attack on the homeland. Defense debates usually revolve around Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan these days, yet Americans care even more about how we use our national defense to protect our homes and cities.
The Democratic and Republican National Conventions will be light on defense policy and heavy on name-calling. The important issues of the day are what our politicians need to spend some time on to make sure Americans are fully informed on policy positions that may impact their votes. We need to hear what their New Deal to Protect America is. Will it include “missile defense for all”?
You might be disappointed if you’re looking for a deep dive into defense policy specifics this week. While Democrats will pile on President Trump and Republicans will make fun of Biden’s cognitive abilities, the American people will be looking for leadership on a plan that will make them feel safe at home.