DeFazio has long advocated constraint on using our Armed Forces. He has fought to cancel wasteful defense contacts that fail to improve the capabilities of our Armed Forces, and instead use the savings to adequately provide for our troops.
Afghanistan and Iraq
Past Bush administration policies strained our military to the breaking point, and we have an obligation to restore it. The war in Afghanistan has entered its ninth year without clearly defined objectives or an exit strategy. DeFazio has been a long-time critic of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He strongly opposed the launch of the Iraq war and vehemently opposed the Obama escalation of the Afghanistan war.
Here at home, Oregonians are out of work, teachers are facing budget cuts, police departments are overstretched, and yet the President and much of Congress continue to cling to the idealistic notion that another 12 months and $150 billion more will give us the edge we need to "finish the job" in Afghanistan. That money would be much better spent creating jobs in America.
Reform Defense Acquisition Programs and Security Contracts or Reform the Pentagon
DeFazio has been a long-time critic of Pentagon weapons programs that are over-budget, behind schedule and irrelevant to fighting today's threats. He successfully fought to have the Army's over-budget, under-performing Comanche Helicopter program cancelled. DeFazio continues to fight for fiscal responsibility and accountability at the Pentagon so that scarce funds can better be spent on the basic needs of our troops, obligations to veterans of past wars and other domestic priorities.
Our nation's armed services have been stretched thin by being asked to fight two wars simultaneously. Our service members have been asked to repeatedly return to the battlefield; some have served as many as four separate deployments. They have also been subjected to stop loss orders that keep them on the battlefield beyond their original commitment. They have honorably served our nation while making major sacrifices.
DeFazio has been a vocal advocate on behalf of our men and women serving in the military, including the Oregon National Guard members deployed overseas. Preparing for the return of these soldiers is a priority. In response, DeFazio introduced the Troops' Soft Landing, Employment, and Rural Transportation Act. This bill provides for an easier return for National Guard and Reserve troops by ensuring that returning service members have a firm safety net when they return from their deployment.