One of the few powers specifically allotted to the Federal Government is national security and foreign policy. A strong national defense is essential to the defense of liberty. Toward that end, given the massive manpower and technological requirements, it is our belief that the US military is the primary fiscal expenditure for the US Government. After all, although an army could be forged relatively simply at the founding of the country, modern warfare is far more expensive and complicated. Airplanes, missiles, tanks, etc. are very expensive and are not created as simply as having a village of Minute Men grabbing their muskets.
However military expenditures, purchasing and budgetary practices are bureaucratic and wasteful. Towards that end we endorse:
- Zero-based budgeting with local control and central oversight so that a particular unit is able to budget what his/her unit needs to effectively carry out the unit’s mission. Using the previous year’s actual expenses as the budget base, encourages waste. Consider rewarding those who are able to stay under budget.
- Competitive bidding for everything from toilet paper to torpedoes. Crony capitalism is wasting our hard earned dollars.
We also believe that the use of our military should be carefully decided and only for the purposes of defending our nation or our allies against aggression. Nation building, intervention in civil wars, humanitarian efforts and the like are not the purpose of our military. So it would naturally follow that military action should be predicated by the following:
- A bonafide threat to our national security or to that of our allies (defined as those with whom we have mutual defense agreements) by another nations or groups.
- As such a threat should be considered an act of war and as the Congress retains the sole power of declaring war, military actions should be authorized by Congress by the declaration of war.
- The President, as Commander in Chief of the armed forces, can and should direct the military to take action in emergent situations without a declaration of war, but unless that situation resolves within a reasonable amount of time, certainly less than a year, the Congress must declare war to continue the activity.
- War cannot bankrupt the nation and requires sacrifices by the entire nation to protect our liberties and freedom, not just service men and women and their families. All military spending must be done the context of a balanced budget. If we are forced to go to war, Congress must raise the revenue to support these efforts, as they have in past with war bonds, tariffs on non-essential goods, consumption taxes, or curtailing of some government services.
- We believe it is reasonable to ask other sovereign nations to also participate in covering the cost of defending their own nations.
Participation in United Nation’s “peacekeeping” missions should be done with extreme caution as this organization has repeatedly shown itself to hold values and believes contrary to those of the American people and our Constitution. However, such participation, if in defense of our nation or our allies is deemed necessary, American troops must always be under the command of the President of the United States, not the UN or any other nation. Such activities must also be time limited unless authorized by Congress by act of war and must also be funded by Congress without incurring additional long term debt.
Our ideas should not, in any way, be seen as an avoidance of foreign military intervention where the clear interests of the United States and her allies are at stake. It is imperative that we eliminate threats to the United States, but it must be done as quickly and inexpensively as is prudent.