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Issue Position: Military- Industry

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

President Eisenhower warned about the rise of the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex. If he were alive after the 9/11 attacks, he may also have warned about the rise of the surveillance state. The United States spends more money on defense than the next ten countries combined, and most of those countries are US allies. The Congress regularly authorizes expenditures for new weapons systems that even the Pentagon does not want. This is insanity. Matt will work to end spending on unnecessary weapons of war, and will work to close many of the more than 700 overseas bases the United States presently maintains around the world. Bringing US troops home from overseas and ending our prolonged entanglements in foreign wars is one of Matt's highest priorities, but he also wants to end the surveillance state that has continuously trampled on the rights of every single American. Matt favors a restoration of Constitutional justice in America. Warrant-less wiretaps, harvesting meta-data, and tracking citizens every move are not acceptable in a free and democratic republic. He wants to re-invest the savings which will come from ending our overspending on defense and surveillance into rebuilding our infrastructure and investing in the American people.

The F-35 fighter-bomber is a weapons system that has continued to balloon past its original overpriced budget, yet has still been unable to achieve results of older F-16 and F-18 fighter jets. The Pentagon as spent almost $2 trillion developing this overpriced weapons system that does not work. Matt will work to end these wasteful military spending programs and refocus those investments into a better educational system for the American people, better infrastructure for the US economy, and better health care for the American people. When the majority of our enemies fight us with Molotov cocktails, and other improvised explosive devices, or simple box cutters, developing multi-trillion dollar weapons systems to defeat these insurgents is not a wise use of our tax dollars.

The United States should and will remain vigilant against serious threats to our security, but it is hard to imagine a war breaking out between the United States and most of our serious national rivals. The United States is the largest consumer of Chinese manufactured goods. It is hard to believe a country would pick a fight with their best customers, and while relations with Russia have been strained in recent years, it remains unlikely that two nuclear powers who thawed the Cold War would ever engage in a direct military action against each other because the mutually assured destruction of a nuclear war that would loom over any such conflict helps cooler heads prevail.

This does not mean that Fort Drum will not remain a vital part of our national defense. While Matt favors diplomacy over offensive military action, in most situations, the ability to defend the nation against attacks is vital to our diplomatic success. The kinds of threats modern adversaries often pose to the United States are usually best dealt with by light infantry units, such as those of the 10th Mountain Division. With Fort Drum's multiple training environments, the base will likely remain a vital part of our national defense readiness program for years to come.

While Matt opposes the bloated budgets provided to private defense contractors, he favors a return to the use of federal government employees for the civilian mission of Fort Drum. This return to prior policy will eliminate the uncertainty of contracts renewed every year or two which leaves many Fort Drum civilian employees nervous about their future employment prospects. It will also provide soldiers stationed at Fort Drum with opportunities for steady post enlistment employment that our current use of temporary contractors denies to many veterans.

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