Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tom Hayhurst on National Security

The #1 job of government is to protect America and keep it's citizens safe. No half measures will do. No excuses can be accepted. If we truly are to be the land of the free and a beacon of hope to the world, our elected leaders must act with renewed courage, especially in this time of war when the threat of terrorism breeds fear. Our leaders must work diligently to address our real security needs while honoring the core principles upon which our democracy is founded. Neither can be sacrificed.

As an Air Force veteran who stood to serve my country, I know the fight for freedom is a just and lasting cause. As a former member of the active military, I have been witness to the costs of duty and salute each day the bravery and skill of our men and women serving around the world. As a physician for over 30 years, I know how to make the tough decisions that ensure the well-being of my patients. As a local elected official, I know what it means to be accountable to the people I represent, the people who rely on me to solve problems and make our community stronger.

We live in a world growing smaller but more diverse each day. A one-size-fits-all national security policy is fundamentally inadequate. That is why this election is so important. We need leaders who will fight for truth, support our troops, demand sound, accountable plans of action, and invest in the safety of our nation. We need leaders who understand that there is a moral responsibility inherent in every choice they make.

Born of mis-information, built on mistakes, Iraq is a questionable war gone bad. But it is the war we made in a distant place with people we are now beholden to. We need leaders who will not shrink from this harsh reality. We need leaders who will live up to the values we profess, strive to find a path that protects America's interests, and refuse to flinch as we find a way to bring this mission to an end.

Debating the merits of going to war in Iraq must not distract us from this conflict's undeniable, horrific realities. We have troops on the ground and a country on the brink of civil war. Our soldiers need our help, and they need a plan. We need leaders in Washington who will demand a strategy that upholds the integrity and stability of Iraq as well as the security of the United States.

When I am in the U. S. Congress, I will:

  • Make sure that everything possible is done to defend the citizens of this great country from any threats - whether external or internal.

  • Stand firm in our war against terrorism and extremism.

  • Work with the international community to stabilize Iraq, establish measurable goals for concluding the war, and promote the rebuilding of the country with Iraqi workers and Iraqi companies.

  • Actively promote the adoption and implementation of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations, the most concrete way we can make our nation more secure - a nation left vulnerable by five years or wrangling and inaction.

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