As a congressman, I will ensure that national defense remains a priority focus of the federal government. The authority to maintain a standing army to protect our borders is clear and defined in the constitution and was argued as one of the primary reasons for drafting the constitution by the federalists. A strong national defense is essential to ensure that people within our borders are free to pursue their dreams and desires and live their lives without fear of hostile forces.
As a US congressman, I will vote to authorize the use of armed forces against our enemies, but only when that war is just, only when that war is necessary, and only when I would be willing to send my family and myself to the front lines. I will fight to keep the power to declare war and initialize hostilities within the legislative branch and ensure that incidents like Libya are not executed without congressional approval.
One of the most essential roles of the federal government is to provide a strong national defense to protect this nation and it's borders, but war is never beneficial to the people. When we go to war, it should be with great reluctance and only when our nation's security is at stake. War is costly. We expend unrecoverable resources and forever alter the lives of the men and women who are brave enough to put themselves on the line. As such, war should be our truly last resort and only waged when declared by the US congress.
War costs us more than most of us ever realize. We know of the running total that is placed in the budget ever year, but what unfortunatey goes unseen is what we could have been doing instead. We could have been building bridges here instead of blowing them up over there. We could have been providing loaves of bread instead of cartridges of ammo. Our men and women could be becoming scientists, engineers, and teachers instead of being scared by the battlefield or coming back in a body bag. My heart breaks for those who sacrifice so much for us, and we owe it to them to make sure that they only have to make those sacrifices when it is ultimately necessary.
There are those that say that it is our job to be the policeman of the world. That we must maintain an empire in order to protect the world and our homeland, but history says this is rather a path to our destruction than to peace. Every empire has fallen because it has stretched its borders too far for too long. It is for this reason that the leaders of the Taliban and other terrorist organizations wish to draw us into distant conflicts. They cannot beat us in armed conflict, but they can cause us to weaken ourselves.
Not only is this cost unaffordable financially, it often incites the very hostilities that we are over there to prevent. We were willing to go to war over the death of a few thousand people on September 11th. Yet the bombings and armed conflicts involving the US have attributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the Middle East over the past decade. So many families have lost sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. So many children have been left orphaned by our actions. It is only reasonable to assume that there would then be many whom hold us accountable for their loss, even if our intentions were noble and consequences unexpected and undesired. There is nothing more vengeful than a person grieving over the unjust loss of a loved one. If we were willing to go to war over the loss of our loved ones, why should we expect anyone else to behave any different?