I served three and a half years as a JAG Officer on active duty in the Navy and continued a career in the Navy Reserves until my retirement at the rank of Commander in 2005. As a veteran with over twenty years of service, I truly believe in the necessity of a strong national defense. The most important duty of our national government is to keep the American people safe from our enemies. The greatest threat to our national security today comes from Islamic fanaticism. This threat is being answered by the men and women of our armed forces and our intelligence agencies. I commend the outstanding job they have done in fighting the War on Terror.
The War on Terror will likely continue for a long time to come. We cannot become complacent simply because of the degree of our successes. We must fight the war in Afghanistan to victory. Setting predetermined timetables for withdrawal only encourages the enemy to persist. Afghanistan cannot be allowed to once again become a rouge Islamic state and a staging ground for terrorist activity. The requests of the Commanding general in theater for reinforcements should be honored in full. The military should always be given the tools they need to achieve victory.
The War on Terror is not a police action, it's a military operation. When foreign terrorists are treated as ordinary criminals, given American constitutional rights, and placed in the federal criminal justice system for prosecution, we lose a degree of our freedom as American citizens. Military tribunals should be the exclusive forum in which to prosecute foreign terrorists, and the facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba should remain open to detain them as long as the war continues. When American lives are at stake, enhanced interrogation techniques should always be available to the CIA and others who are charged with protecting us.
Israel is one of our most faithful allies, especially in the fight against terrorism. The United States must always be a friend to Israel, economically and militarily, and resist efforts from any quarter to compromise Israel's territorial integrity.
Many mistakes have recently been made on the national security front. In December, an Islamic terrorist from Kenya with links to Al Qaeda, was given Miranda rights and indicted as a common criminal after attempting to blow-up a jetliner flying from Europe to Detroit. He should have been turned over immediately to the CIA. Warnings regarding a radical Islamic Army psychiatrist were ignored, before he killed 13 soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas in November. The 9/11 masterminds are being removed from prosecution in the military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay in order to bring them to American soil for prosecution in the federal criminal justice system, with all the attendant constitutional rights. The detention facility for foreign terrorists at Guantanamo Bay is slated to be closed. CIA detention facilities around the world have already been closed. Many terrorists formerly detained at Guantanamo Bay have been returned to Yemen, the site of a resurgence of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Many more threats to our national security are on the horizon. We must remain vigilant in order to remain free. In many ways, we are heading in the wrong direction. Conservative fighters are needed now as much as ever in the U.S. Congress. As a proud Navy veteran, I am determined to protect this great land of ours and to honor and meet our national commitments to the veterans who have served us.