Congressman Blumenauer has worked to ensure that the government takes a comprehensive, realistic, and long-term approach to national defense - including support for America's Reserve and National Guard forces. The Congressman is particularly proud to support the 142nd Fighter Wing and 125th Special Tactics Squadron of the Oregon Air National Guard and the 939th Air Refueling Wing of the US Air Force Reserve, all of whom call Portland home. In 2005, the Congressman was instrumental in the successful community effort to preserve the Portland location of the 142nd.
It is not enough to ensure that America's domestic and military forces remain the best in the world: Congressman Blumenauer believes the government must become a better partner to those who serve, to states and neighborhoods, to the global community. Despite agreement on the need for deep and lasting changes to military strategy, doctrine, and force structure, the Pentagon's focus has been on acquiring new capabilities rather than on re-evaluating current questionable priorities and programs. Congressman Blumenauer believes misdirected funding for activities like the National Missile Defense Program take away from other defense commitments and ignores the fact we are more at risk from terrorists and rogue states.
Today's threats - terrorism, the upheaval caused by global economic change, worldwide epidemics, and environmental devastation - cannot be addressed by military force alone. Congressman Blumenauer strongly believes that protecting national security also demands providing aid to developing economies, addressing poverty, and preventing further damage to the environment. For years, he has spearheaded initiatives to enable the Department of Defense, the largest manager of infrastructure in the world, to clean up after itself and be a better partner with local communities.