National Security

A stronger path to combating the many threats we face

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Bring together three broad functions under the same budgetary umbrella: offense (primarily the military); defense (primarily homeland security); and prevention (primarily international affairs).

We need a budget that will define America's priorities at a time when we face unprecedented security challenges. Given the hard choices at hand, Congress and the President should take the six specific policy and budgetary steps outlined below. These six steps will dramatically strengthen our global military posture and maximize our ability to confront the greatest security challenge facing our nation: keeping nuclear, chemical and biological weapons from falling into the grasp of unstable nations or terrorists with global reach. To achieve these goals, we need a budget that will: Increase the size of the active Army to a 12-division force from the current 10 divisions, and field a division devoted to stabilization and reconstruction.
  • Provide necessary but currently missing battlefield equipment and greater protection for both active troops and reservists.
  • Stem the emerging retention crisis by supporting military personnel and their families with increased health and education benefits.
  • Strengthen the capacity of the National Guard to protect our homeland from nuclear, chemical and biological attacks.
  • Dramatically expand programs that secure or destroy nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, materials and technologies by increasing funding for Nunn-Lugar to $2 billion from its current level of $450 million.
  • Broaden international efforts to hunt down and secure or destroy weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by ensuring that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has the resources it needs to do the job.
  • We must better integrate our military options with our diplomatic, economic and intelligence-gathering priorities. We need a single, unified national security budget to replace today's complex, sprawling mix of categories. We must pursue an integrated homeland security strategy - working to make sure that it matches our international priorities and programs, and reflects and supports the needs and capabilities of states, cities and local communities. And in Washington, we must reach across the partisan divide in order to promote more effectively policies that help every American.
Let's bring some rationality to our budgeting for security. The first step is to have the Congressional Budget Office prepare a Unified Security Budget. Here, we would bring together three broad functions under the same budgetary umbrella: offense (primarily the military); defense (primarily homeland security); and prevention (primarily international affairs). This seemingly simple step would give us a mechanism for examining, and fully debating, our big-picture security priorities. These principles underlie a more realistic national security strategy. They offer a stronger path to combating the many threats we face, chief among them the deadly combination of a terrorist or rogue regime armed with a nuclear, chemical or biological weapon. This strategy will help support our men and women in uniform and provide them with more of the resources and capabilities that we need in a dynamic global security environment. But it will go beyond a reflexive reliance on military power, and exploit to the maximum every international and domestic capability the United States possess. By integrating alliances and international institutions, responding to local needs, and matching resources to risks, our strategy offers a better path to protecting the American people and advancing our national interests.
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