Byline: Dale Lumme, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Most Americans agree that deficit reduction needs to be a national priority and that our nation needs to be more fiscally responsible. Moreover, there should be no debate that Congress has a constitutional obligation to provide the means to defend our nationAEs homeland security. The current global environment requires the United States to maintain a high state of awareness and readiness to protect its security, prosperity and values and to maintain international order u the bedrock of the presidentAEs national security strategy.
Our current national leadership has pledged a renewed focus in the Pacific, and with good reason. China, which recently put its first aircraft carrier into service, has territorial disputes with several neighboring countries. Tensions are still high on the Pusan Peninsula, with the unpredictability of North Korea remaining constant. ThatAEs just the Pacific. At the end of last year, we brought our combat troops out of Iraq and, in recent weeks, brought back the last of our surge troops from Afghanistan. As recent terrorist attacks highlight, we cannot ignore the Arab Spring, nor can we let the escalating tensions between Israel and Iran go unchecked. The domestic and international threat of al Qaeda and other rogue groups has not gone away. With more than 90 percent of global commerce traveling the worldAEs oceans and seas, the threat of piracy and other hindrances to international shipping, especially at critical choke points, remains high.
This is the reality we face, and it cannot be ignored. Most Americans realize it, the administration and Congress realize it, our allies and even our foes realize it. The United States played a pivotal role in shaping the course of the 20th century. Now we have the opportunity and, as a world leader, the responsibility to help shape the 21st century. …