We are the party of peace through strength. Professing American exceptionalism – the conviction that our country holds a unique place and role in human history – we proudly associate ourselves with those Americans of all political stripes who, more than three decades ago in a world as dangerous as today’s, came together to advance the cause of freedom. Repudiating the folly of an amateur foreign policy and defying a worldwide Marxist advance, they announced their strategy in the timeless slogan we repeat today: peace through strength – an enduring peace based on freedom and the will to defend it, and American democratic values and the will to promote them. While the twentieth century was undeniably an American century – with strong leadership, adherence to the principles of freedom and democracy our Founders’ enshrined in our nation’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and a continued reliance on Divine Providence – the twenty-first century will be one of American greatness as well.
Today’s adversaries are different, as are their weapons and their ideology, but this remains the same: the unity of Americans, beyond party, in gratitude to those who have defended our country, pursued its attackers to the ends of the earth, and today stand vigilant guard in our cities, on our coasts, and in alien lands. We pledge to our servicemen and women the authority and resources they need to protect the nation and defend America’s freedom. Continued vigilance, especially in travel and commerce, is necessary to prevent bioterrorism, cyber terrorism, and other asymmetric or non-traditional warfare attacks and to ensure that the horror of September 11, 2001 is never repeated on our soil.
Our country and its way of life have enemies both abroad and within our shores. We affirm the need for our military to protect the nation by finding and capturing our enemies and the necessity for the President to have the tools to deal with these threats. As history has sadly shown, even our fellow citizens may rarely become enemies of their country. Nevertheless, our government must continue to ensure the protections under our Constitution to all citizens, particularly the rights of habeas corpus and due process of law.
History proves that the best way to promote peace and prevent costly wars is to ensure that we constantly renew America’s economic strength. A healthy American economy is what underwrites and sustains American power. The current Administration is weakening America at home through anemic growth, high unemployment, and record-setting debt. We must therefore rebuild our economy and solve our fiscal crisis. In an American century, America will have the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world.
The Current Administration’s Failure: Leading From Behind (Top)
The Republican Party is the advocate for a strong national defense as the pathway to peace, economic prosperity, and the protection of those yearning to be free. Since the end of World War II, American military superiority has been the cornerstone of a strategy that seeks to deter aggression or defeat those who threaten our national security interests. In 1981, President Reagan came to office with an agenda of strong American leadership, beginning with a restoration of our country’s military strength. The rest is history, written in the rubble of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain.
We face a similar challenge today. The current Administration has responded with weakness to some of the gravest threats to our national security this country has faced, including the proliferation of transnational terrorism, continued belligerence by a nuclear-armed North Korea, an Iran in pursuit of nuclear weapons, rising Chinese hegemony in the Asia Pacific region, Russian activism, and threats from cyber espionage and terrorism. In response to these growing threats, President Obama has reduced the defense budget by over $487 billion over the next decade and fought Republican efforts to avoid another $500 billion in automatic budget cuts through a sequestration in early 2013 that will take a meat ax to all major defense programs.
The Dangers of A Hollow Force: The Looming Sequestration (Top)
Sequestration – which is severe, automatic, across-the-board cuts in defense spending over the next decade – of the nation’s military budget would be a disaster for national security, imperiling the safety of our servicemen and women, accelerating the decline of our nation’s defense industrial base, and resulting in the layoff of more than 1 million skilled workers. Opposition to sequester is bipartisan; even the current Secretary of Defense has said the cuts will be “devastating” to America’s military. Yet the current President supported sequestration, signed it into law, and has threatened to veto Republican efforts to prevent it. If he allows an additional half trillion dollars to be cut from the defense budget, America will be left with the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest number of ships since 1915, and the smallest Air Force in its history – at a time when our Nation faces a growing range of threats to our national security and a struggling economy that can ill afford to lose 1.5 million defense-related jobs.
Leaks for Political Purposes (Top)
The current Administration’s leaks of classified information have imperiled intelligence assets which are vital to American security. This conduct is contemptible. It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation by a special counsel. Equally threatening to the long-term strength and safety of our Armed Forces are the current Administration’s efforts to sacrifice our national security for political gain and a partisan agenda. We give the current President credit for maintaining his predecessor’s quiet determination and planning to bring to justice the man behind the 9/11 attack on America, but he has tolerated publicizing the details of the operation to kill the leader of Al Qaeda; those leaks exposed the tactics and techniques of our Special Operations forces and denied our nation an unprecedented intelligence opportunity. Subsequent leaks by senior Administration officials regarding cyber warfare, the use of drones against Al Qaeda and its operatives, and the targeting of our enemies – unprecedented leaks that compromised key sources and methods and damaged our national security – served the single purpose of propping up the image of a weak President.
A Failed National Security Strategy (Top)
The current Administration’s most recent National Security Strategy reflects the extreme elements in its liberal domestic coalition. It is a budget-constrained blueprint that, if fully implemented, will diminish the capabilities of our Armed Forces. The strategy significantly increases the risk of future conflict by declaring to our adversaries that we will no longer maintain the forces necessary to fight and win more than one conflict at a time. It relies on the good intentions and capabilities of international organizations to justify constraining American military readiness. Finally, the strategy subordinates our national security interests to environmental, energy, and international health issues, and elevates “climate change” to the level of a “severe threat” equivalent to foreign aggression. The word “climate,” in fact, appears in the current President’s strategy more often than Al Qaeda, nuclear proliferation, radical Islam, or weapons of mass destruction. The phrase “global war on terror” does not appear at all, and has been purposely avoided and changed by his Administration to “overseas contingency operations.”
Conventional Forces in Decline (Top)
More than a century ago, Republican President Theodore Roosevelt predicted that America’s future was in the Pacific. That future is here today, but it can develop peacefully only under the shield of American Naval and Air power. Yet the current Administration plans to significantly curtail production of our most advanced combat aircraft, decommission 6 of 60 Air Force tactical squadrons, and eliminate critical air mobility assets, including 27 giant C-5As and 65 C-130s, while divesting the nation of the brand new C-27.
The President plans to reduce our naval forces by retiring seven cruisers and slowing work on amphibious ships and attack submarines, further reducing the Navy that already has the smallest fleet since the early years of the twentieth century. And he will reduce ground forces by separating 100,000 soldiers and Marines – many of whom will be discharged after recently returning from combat – and another 100,000 under the sequester.
These plans limit our strategic flexibility in an increasingly dangerous world. The current President is repeating the disastrous cuts of the post-Vietnam war era, putting our nation in danger of returning to the “hollow force” of the Carter Administration, when the U.S. military was not respected in the world.
Nuclear Forces and Missile Defense Imperiled (Top)
We recognize that the gravest terror threat we face – a nuclear attack made possible by nuclear proliferation – requires a comprehensive strategy for reducing the world’s nuclear stockpiles and preventing the spread of those armaments. But the U.S. can lead that effort only if it maintains an effective strategic arsenal at a level sufficient to fulfill its deterrent purposes, a notable failure of the current Administration.
The United States is the only nuclear power not modernizing its nuclear stockpile. It took the current Administration just one year to renege on the President’s commitment to modernize the neglected infrastructure of the nuclear weapons complex – a commitment made in exchange for approval of the New START treaty. In tandem with this, the current Administration has systematically undermined America’s missile defense, abandoning the missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, reducing the number of planned interceptors in Alaska, and cutting the budget for missile defense. In an embarrassing open microphone discussion with former Russian President Medvedev, the current President made clear that, if he wins a second term, he intends to exercise “more flexibility” to appease Russia, which means further undermining our missile defense capabilities. A Republican President will be honest and forthright with the American people about his policies and plans and not whisper promises to authoritarian leaders.
A strong and effective strategic arsenal is still necessary as a deterrent against competitors like Russia or China. But the danger in this age of asymmetric or non-traditional warfare comes from other quarters as well. With unstable regimes in Iran and North Korea determined to develop nuclear-tipped missiles capable of reaching the United States, with the possibility that a terrorist group could gain control of a nuclear weapon, it is folly to abandon a missile shield for the country.
A Twenty-First Century Threat: The Cybersecurity Danger (Top)
The frequency, sophistication, and intensity of cyber-related incidents within the United States have increased steadily over the past decade and will continue to do so until it is made clear that a cyber attack against the United States will not be tolerated. The current Administration’s cyber security policies have failed to curb malicious actions by our adversaries, and no wonder, for there is no active deterrence protocol. The current deterrence framework is overly reliant on the development of defensive capabilities and has been unsuccessful in dissuading cyber-related aggression. The U.S. cannot afford to risk the cyber-equivalent of Pearl Harbor.
The government and private sector must work together to address the cyberthreats posed to the United States, help the free flow of information between network managers, and encourage innovation and investment in cybersecurity. The government must do a better job of protecting its own systems, which contain some of the most sensitive data and control some of our most important facilities. As such, we encourage an immediate update of the law that was drafted a decade ago to improve the security of government information systems. Additionally, we must invest in continuing research to develop cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies to protect the U.S. However, we acknowledge that the most effective way of combating potential cybersecurity threats is sharing cyberthreat information between the government and industry, as well as protecting the free flow of information within the private sector.
The current Administration’s laws and policies undermine what should be a collaborative relationship and put both the government and private entities at a severe disadvantage in proactively identifying potential cyberthreats. The costly and heavy-handed regulatory approach by the current Administration will increase the size and cost of the federal bureaucracy and harm innovation in cybersecurity. The government collects valuable information about potential threats that can and should be shared with private entities without compromising national security. We believe that companies should be free from legal and regulatory barriers that prevent or deter them from voluntarily sharing cyberthreat information with their government partners.
An America That Leads: The Republican National Security Strategy for the Future (Top)
We will honor President Reagan’s legacy of peace through strength by advancing the most cost-effective programs and policies crucial to our national security, including our economic security and fiscal solvency. To do that, we must honestly assess the threats facing this country, and we must be able to articulate candidly to the American people our priorities for the use of taxpayer dollars to address those threats.
We must deter any adversary who would attack us or use terror as a tool of government. Every potential enemy must have no doubt that our capabilities, our commitment, and our will to defeat them are clear, unwavering, and unequivocal. We must immediately employ a new blueprint for a National Military Strategy that is based on an informed and validated assessment of the potential threats we face, one that restores as a principal objective the deterrence using the full spectrum of our military capabilities. As Ronald Reagan proved by the victorious conclusion of the Cold War, only our capability to wield overwhelming military power can truly deter the enemies of the United States from threatening our people and our national interests.
In order to deter aggression from nation-states, we must maintain military and technical superiority through innovation while upgrading legacy systems including aircraft and armored vehicles. We must deter the threat posed by rogue aggressors with the assurance that justice will be served through state-of-the-art surveillance, enhanced special operations capabilities, and unmanned aerial systems.
We will employ the full range of military and intelligence options to defeat Al Qaeda and its affiliates who threaten not just the West but the community of nations. We will have a comprehensive and just detainee policy that treats those who would attack our nation as enemy combatants. We will accept no arms control agreement that limits our right to self-defense; and we will fully deploy a missile defense shield for the people of the United States and for our allies.
We will pursue an effective cybersecurity strategy, supported by the necessary resources, that recognizes the importance of offensive capabilities. Whether it is a nation-state actively probing our national security networks, a terror organization seeking to obtain destructive cyber capabilities, or a criminal network’s theft of intellectual property, more must be done to deter, defeat, and respond to cyberthreats.
We will restore the morale and advance the capabilities of our intelligence community to ensure that the President and our military leaders are fully informed in an uncertain and increasingly dangerous world. We will restore accountability to ensure that our nation’s most sensitive information and activities are protected appropriately.
The Department of Defense, like all government agencies, needs to be careful to spend taxpayers’ dollars wisely. We will implement sound management policies to ensure the timely, cost-effective delivery of the tools our troops need to fight. We reject Congressional earmarks that put personal and parochial interests ahead of military effectiveness and the best interests of the nation. We recognize the need for, and value of, competition within a robust industrial base to most effectively maximize quality and drive down costs in everything the Department buys.
Supporting our Troops, Standing By Our Heroes (Top)
The foundation of our military lies in the men and women who wear our country’s uniform, whether on active duty or in the Reserves and National Guard, and the families who support them. Under no circumstances will we reveal any secret or detail of a military operation that could put our people into additional harm’s way. The members of our military should be treated with the utmost respect and dignity. We reject the use of the military as a platform for social experimentation and will not accept attempts to undermine military priorities and mission readiness.
Consistent with this commitment, we believe compensation and conditions for our Armed Forces in place at the time military service is initiated should be sufficient to attract and retain quality men and women as we honor our promises and commitments to veterans, retirees, and their families. These shall continue and not be reduced or otherwise diminished while in service, or upon separation, or retirement. The combat readiness of our Armed Forces is the foundation of strength and deterrence. Readiness requires a consistent and sustained investment in the training and re-equipping of our military personnel. We will never assume the risk of reduced readiness, and we can never return to the “hollow” forces of the 1970s. Combat readiness also requires that we reserve troops for truly necessary operations by not overextending them around the world. We recognize that drastic cuts to our military’s end strength pose severe national security challenges. To avoid the overextension of our forces, we support a larger active force and oppose cuts to the National Guard and Reserves.
The all-volunteer force, begun on the watch of Republican Presidents, has carried America to victory from the Caribbean and Central America to the Balkans and Southwest Asia. We oppose the reinstatement of the draft whether directly or through compulsory national service. We support the advancement of women in the military, which has not only opened doors of opportunity for individuals but has also made possible the devoted, and often heroic, services of additional members of every branch of the Armed Forces. We support military women’s exemption from direct ground combat units and infantry battalions. We affirm the cultural values that encourage selfless service and superiority in battle, and we oppose anything which might divide or weaken team cohesion, including intra-military special interest demonstrations. We will support an objective and open-minded review of the current Administration’s management of military personnel policies and will correct problems with appropriate administrative, legal, or legislative action.
The National Guard and Reserves are a fully operational and battle-tested component of our Armed Forces. Many of them have heroically served for multiple deployments resulting in inadequate time between deployments, also known as dwell time. We pledge to maintain their manpower and equipment strength and to ensure their members receive the pay, benefits, and adequate training to continue their service and maintain mission readiness through Presidential leadership and Congressional budget support. Their historic and continuing role as citizen-soldiers is a proud tradition linking every community across America to the cause of freedom. We affirm service members’ legal right to return to their civilian jobs, whether in government or the private sector, and we urge greater transition assistance to and from employers as they return to the civilian world. Especially in light of the high unemployment rates faced by younger Reserve and Guard members, we salute those employers who have wisely decided that it is a smart and patriotic business decision to hire those who have served above and beyond the call of duty.
The spiritual welfare of our troops and retired service members should be a priority of our national leadership. With military suicides running at the rate of one a day, with post-service medical conditions, including addiction and mental illness, and with the financial stress and homelessness that is often related to these factors, there is an urgent need for the kind of counseling that faith-based institutions can best provide. We support rights of conscience and religious freedom for military chaplains and people of faith. A Republican Commander in Chief will protect religious independence of military chaplains and will not tolerate attempts to ban Bibles or religious symbols from military facilities. We will enforce and defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the Armed Forces as well as in the civilian world.
We call upon the entire chain of command – from the President and the Secretary of Defense, to base and unit commanders – to ensure that our troops and retired service members, wherever stationed, have the opportunity to vote in the November elections, and that their ballots will be returned in time to be properly counted. Those who fight for and defend freedom around the world must not be disenfranchised.
Recognizing and Supporting Military Families (Top)
The families of our military personnel currently serving, retired service members, and veterans must also be assured of the pay, health care, housing, education, and overall support they have earned. We will ensure that the federal government keeps its commitments to those who signed on the dotted line of enlistment with the assurance that those promises would be kept. We must also do more to retain the services of those service members who have borne the fight since 2001.
We must acknowledge that as our troops have experienced repeated deployments, so have their families. We are committed to providing programs that offer readjustment information and counseling to our military families, and urge States to offer support for job programs, license reciprocity, one-stop service centers, and education programs to support these families. The nation must also recognize the ultimate sacrifice of survivors and protect their benefits. We will work to protect service members and their families by not overextending their deployments.
Honoring and Supporting Our Veterans: A Sacred Obligation (Top)
America has a sacred trust with our veterans, and we are committed to providing them and their families with care and dignity. This is particularly true because our nation’s warriors are volunteers, who served from a sense of duty. The work of the Department of Veterans Affairs – with a staff of 300,000 – is essential to meet our obligations to them: providing health, education, disability, survivor, and home loan benefit services and arranging memorial services upon death. All its branches in those various fields must be made more responsive, moving from an adversarial to an advocacy relationship with veterans. To that end we will consider a fundamental change in structure to make the regional directors of the Department presidential appointees rather than careerists.
Our wounded warriors, whether still in service or discharged, deserve the best medical care our country can provide. The nature of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan has resulted in an unprecedented incidence of traumatic brain injury, loss of limbs, and post-traumatic stress disorder which calls for a new commitment of resources and personnel for its treatment and care to promote recovery. We must make military and veterans’ medicine the gold standard for mental health care, advances in prosthetics, and treatment of trauma and eye injuries. We must heed Abraham Lincoln’s command “to care for him who bore the battle.” To care, as well, for the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, who must be assured of meaningful financial assistance, remains our solemn duty.
Because the conditions of warfare have changed dramatically since the war on terror began, today’s veterans face new challenges. Asymmetrical or non-traditional warfare results in a high incidence of severe conditions that must receive high priority and call for continued research into prevention and treatment.
We are committed to ending homelessness for our veterans. One key is to assist their reentry into the job market as soon as possible after military service ends. A job for a veteran is more than a source of income. It is a new mission, with a new status, and the transition can be difficult. It is a national scandal that veterans are one of the groups with the highest unemployment rates. We urge the private sector to make hiring vets a company policy and commend the many organizations that have specific programs to accomplish this. But the federal government must take the lead by simplifying the paper work required for a tax break for hiring a veteran and by giving vets their assured place at the head of the training and employment line.
Every State has an office dealing with veterans. The federal Department needs to consider these as partners in assisting vets, recognizing that those closest to the individual can best diagnose a problem and apply a remedy. This is especially important with regard to the determination of veterans’ disability claims. If private insurance companies can deal with car wrecks and hurricanes within weeks or months, it is inexplicable that the federal government takes, on average, a year to process a veteran’s claim. We urge immediate action to review the automatic denial of gun ownership to returning members of our Armed Forces who have had representatives appointed to manage their financial affairs.
Sovereign American Leadership in International Organizations (Top)
Since the end of World War II, the United States, through the founding of the United Nations and NATO, has participated in a wide range of international organizations which can, but sometimes do not, serve the cause of peace and prosperity. While acting through them, our country must always reserve the right to go its own way. There can be no substitute for principled American leadership.
The United Nations remains in dire need of reform, starting with full transparency in the financial operations of its overpaid bureaucrats. As long as its scandal-ridden management continues, as long as some of the world’s worst tyrants hold seats on its Human Rights Council, and as long as Israel is treated as a pariah state, the U.N. cannot expect the full support of the American people.
The United Nations Population Fund has a shameful record of collaboration with China’s program of compulsory abortion. We affirm the Republican Party’s long-held position known as the Mexico City Policy, first announced by President Reagan in 1984, which prohibits the granting of federal monies to non-governmental organization that provide or promote abortion.
Under our Constitution, treaties become the law of the land. So it is all the more important that the Congress – the Senate through its ratifying power and the House through its appropriating power – shall reject agreements whose long-range impact on the American family is ominous or unclear. These include the U.N. Convention on Women’s Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty as well as the various declarations from the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development. Because of our concern for American sovereignty, domestic management of our fisheries, and our country’s long-term energy needs, we have deep reservations about the regulatory, legal, and tax regimes inherent in the Law of the Sea Treaty and congratulate Senate Republicans for blocking its ratification. We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty, and we oppose any form of U.N. Global Tax. We oppose any diplomatic efforts that could result in giving the United Nations unprecedented control over the Internet. International regulatory control over the open and free Internet would have disastrous consequences for the United States and the world.
To shield members of our Armed Forces and others in service to America from ideological prosecutions overseas, the Republican Party does not accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. We support statutory protection for U.S. personnel and officials as they act abroad to meet our global security requirements.
Protecting Human Rights (Top)
To those who stand in the darkness of tyranny, America has always been a beacon of hope, and so it must remain. That is why we strongly support the work of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, established by Congressional Republicans to advance the rights of persecuted peoples everywhere. It has been shunted aside by the current Administration at a time when its voice more than ever needs to be heard. Religious minorities across the Middle East are being driven from their ancient homelands, fanaticism leaves its bloody mark on both West and East Africa, and even among America’s Western friends and allies, pastors and families are penalized for their religious convictions. A Republican Administration will return the advocacy of religious liberty to a central place in our diplomacy.
America’s Generosity: International Assistance that Makes a Difference (Top)
Americans are the most generous people in the world. Apart from the taxpayer dollars our government donates abroad, our foundations, educational institutions, faith-based groups, and committed men and women of charity devote billions of dollars and volunteer hours every year to help the poor and needy around the world. This effort, along with commercial investment from the private sector, dwarfs the results from official development assistance, most of which is based on an outdated, statist, government-to-government model, the proven breeding ground for corruption and mismanagement by foreign kleptocrats. Limiting foreign aid spending helps keep taxes lower, which frees more resources in the private and charitable sectors, whose giving tends to be more effective and efficient.
Foreign aid should serve our national interest, an essential part of which is the peaceful development of less advanced and vulnerable societies in critical parts of the world. Assistance should be seen as an alternative means of keeping the peace, far less costly in both dollars and human lives than military engagement. The economic success and political progress of former aid recipients, from Latin America to East Asia, has justified our investment in their future. U.S. aid should be based on the model of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, for which foreign governments must, in effect, compete for the dollars by showing respect for the rule of law, free enterprise, and measurable results. In short, aid money should follow positive outcomes, not pleas for more cash in the same corrupt official pockets.
The effectiveness of our foreign aid has been limited by the cultural agenda of the current Administration, attempting to impose on foreign countries, especially the peoples of Africa, legalized abortion and the homosexual rights agenda. At the same time, faith-based groups – the sector that has had the best track record in promoting lasting development – have been excluded from grants because they will not conform to the administration’s social agenda. We will reverse this tragic course, encourage more involvement by the most effective aid organizations, and trust developing peoples to build their future from the ground up.
Combating Human Trafficking (Top)
As we approach the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by the first Republican President Abraham Lincoln, we are reminded to be vigilant against human bondage in whatever form it appears. We will use the full force of the law against those who engage in modern-day forms of slavery, including the commercial sexual exploitation of children and the forced labor of men, women, and children. Building on the accomplishments of the last Republican Administration in implementing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, we call for increased diplomatic efforts with foreign governments to root out complicit public officials who facilitate or perpetrate this evil. We highlight the need for greater scrutiny of overseas labor contractors to prevent the imposition of usurious terms on temporary foreign workers brought to the United States. Our government must address the increasing role of vicious drug cartels and other gangs in controlling human smuggling across our southern border. The principle underlying our Megan’s Law – publicizing the identities of known offenders – should be extended to international travel in order to protect innocent children everywhere.
We affirm our country’s historic tradition of welcoming refugees from troubled lands. In some cases, they are people who stood with us during dangerous times, and they have first call on our hospitality.
Promoting a Free Marketplace of Ideas: Public Diplomacy (Top)
International broadcasting of free and impartial information during the Cold War kept truth and hope alive in the Captive Nations. Today, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Radio/TV Marti do the same in other lands where freedom is unknown or endangered. We support these essential extensions of American values and culture and urge their expansion in the Middle East. Recognizing the vital role of social media in recent efforts to promote democracy, we support unrestricted access to the Internet throughout the world to advance the free marketplace of ideas.
Strengthening Ties in the Americas (Top)
We will resist foreign influence in our hemisphere. We thereby seek not only to provide for our own security, but also to create a climate for democracy and self-determination throughout the Americas.
The current Administration has turned its back on Latin America, with predictable results. Rather than supporting our democratic allies in the region, the President has prioritized engagement with our enemies in the region. Venezuela represents an increasing threat to U.S. security, a threat which has grown much worse on the current President’s watch. In the last three years, Venezuela has become a narco-terrorist state, turning it into an Iranian outpost in the Western hemisphere. The current regime issues Venezuelan passports or visas to thousands of Middle Eastern terrorists offering safe haven to Hezbollah trainers, operatives, recruiters and fundraisers.
Alternatively, we will stand with the true democracies of the region against both Marxist subversion and the drug lords, helping them to become prosperous alternatives to the collapsing model of Venezuela and Cuba.
We affirm our friendship with the People of Cuba and look toward their reunion with the rest of our hemispheric family. The anachronistic regime in Havana which rules them is a mummified relic of the age of totalitarianism, a state-sponsor of terrorism. We reject any dynastic succession of power within the Castro family and affirm the principles codified in U.S. law as conditions for the lifting of trade, travel, and financial sanctions: the legalization of political parties, an independent media, and free and fair internationally-supervised elections. We renew our commitment to Cuba’s courageous pro-democracy movement as the protagonists of Cuba’s inevitable liberation and democratic future. We call for a dedicated platform for the transmission of Radio and TV Marti and for the promotion of Internet access and circumvention technology as tools to strengthen the pro-democracy movement. We support the work of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba and affirm the principles of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, recognizing the rights of Cubans fleeing Communism.
The war on drugs and the war on terror have become a single enterprise. We salute our allies in this fight, especially the people of Mexico and Colombia. We propose a unified effort on crime and terrorism to coordinate intelligence and enforcement among our regional allies, as well as military-to-military training and intelligence sharing with Mexico, whose people are bearing the brunt of the drug cartels’ savage assault.
Our Canadian neighbors can count on our close cooperation and respect. As soon as possible, we will reverse the current Administration’s blocking of the Keystone XL Pipeline so that both our countries can profit from this vital venture and there will no need for hemispheric oil to be shipped to China.
Advancing Hope and Prosperity in Africa (Top)
PEPFAR, President George W. Bush’s Plan for AIDS Relief, is one of the most successful global health programs in history. It has saved literally millions of lives. Along with the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, another initiative of President Bush, it represents America’s humanitarian commitment to the peoples of Africa, though these are only one aspect of our assistance to the nations of that continent. From Peace Corps volunteers teaching in one-room schools to U.S. Seabees building village projects, we will continue to strengthen the personal and commercial ties between our country and African nations.
We stand in solidarity with those African countries now under assault by the forces of radical Islam and urge other governments throughout the continent to recognize this threat to them as well. We support closer cooperation in both military and economic matters with those who are under attack by forces which seek our destruction.
U.S. Leadership in the Asian-Pacific Community (Top)
We are a Pacific nation with economic, military, and cultural ties to all the countries of the oceanic rim, from Australia, the Philippines, and our Freely Associated States in the Pacific Islands to Japan and the Republic of Korea. With them, we look toward the restoration of human rights to the suffering people of North Korea and the fulfillment of their wish to be one in peace and freedom. The U.S. will continue to demand the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs with a full accounting of its proliferation activities.
We celebrate the political and economic development of most of the nations of Southeast Asia. Their example of material progress through hard work and free enterprise, in tandem with greater democracy should encourage their less fortunate neighbors to set aside crippling ideologies and embrace a more humane future. While our relations with Vietnam have improved, and U.S. investment is welcomed, we need unceasing efforts to obtain an accounting for, and repatriation of the remains of, Americans who gave their lives in the cause of Vietidse freedom. We cannot overlook the continued repression of human rights and religious freedom, as well as retribution against ethnic minorities and others who assisted U.S. forces during the conflict there.
South Asia (Top)
We welcome a stronger relationship with the world’s largest democracy, India, both economic and cultural, as well as in terms of national security. We hereby affirm and declare that India is our geopolitical ally and a strategic trading partner. We encourage India to permit greater foreign investment and trade. We urge protection for adherents of all India’s religions. Both as Republicans and as Americans, we note with pride the contributions to this country that are being made by our fellow citizens of Indian ancestry. The aftermath of the last decade’s conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan has put enormous pressure on the political and military infrastructure of Pakistan, which faces both internal terrorism and external dangers. The working relationship between our two countries is a necessary, though sometimes difficult, benefit to both, and we look toward the renewal of historic ties that have frayed under the weight of international conflict.
The imminent withdrawal from Afghanistan of the 30,000 “surge” troops sent there two years ago comes weeks before this year’s presidential election and against the advice of the current President’s top military commanders. Future decisions by a Republican President will never subordinate military necessity to domestic politics or an artificial timetable. Afghans, Pakistanis, and Americans have a common interest in ridding the region of the Taliban and other insurgent groups, but we cannot expect others to remain resolute unless we show the same determination ourselves. We will expect the Afghan government to crackdown on corruption, respect free elections, and assist our fight against the narcotic trade that fuels the insurgency. We must likewise expect the Pakistan government to sever any connection between its security and intelligence forces and the insurgents. No Pakistani citizen should be punished for helping the United States against the terrorists.
We salute the people of Taiwan, a sound democracy and economic model for mainland China. Our relations must continue to be based upon the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act. America and Taiwan are united in our shared belief in fair elections, personal liberty, and free enterprise. We oppose any unilateral steps by either side to alter the status quo in the Taiwan Straits on the principle that all issues regarding the island’s future must be resolved peacefully, through dialogue, and be agreeable to the people of Taiwan. If China were to violate those principles, the U.S., in accord with the Taiwan Relations Act, will help Taiwan defend itself. We praise steps taken by both sides of the Taiwan Strait to reduce tension and strengthen economic ties. As a loyal friend of America, Taiwan has merited our strong support, including free trade agreements status, as well as the timely sale of defensive arms and full participation in the World Health Organization, International Civil Aviation Organization, and other multilateral institutions.
We will welcome the emergence of a peaceful and prosperous China, and we will welcome even more the development of a democratic China. Its rulers have discovered that economic freedom leads to national wealth. The next lesson is that political and religious freedom leads to national greatness. The exposure of the Chinese people to our way of life can be the greatest force for change in their country. We should make it easier for the people of China to experience our vibrant democracy and to see for themselves how freedom works. We welcome the increase in trade and education alliances with the U.S. and the opening of Chinese markets to American companies.
The Chinese government has engaged in a number of activities that we condemn: China’s pursuit of advanced military capabilities without any apparent need; suppression of human rights in Tibet, Xinjiang, and other areas; religious persecution; a barbaric one-child policy involving forced abortion; the erosion of democracy in Hong Kong; and its destabilizing claims in the South China Sea. Our serious trade disputes, especially China’s failure to enforce international standards for the protection of intellectual property and copyrights, as well as its manipulation of its currency, call for a firm response from a new Republican Administration.
The West has been the bulwark of democracy and freedom, providing hope and faith to the oppressed around the globe. Our historic ties to the peoples of Europe have been based on shared culture and values, common interests and goals. Their endurance cannot be taken for granted, especially in light of the continent’s economic upheaval and demographic changes. Ensuring the continued vitality of our political alliance with Europe through NATO will require effort and understanding on both sides of the Atlantic. We honor our special relationship with the United Kingdom and appreciate its staunch support for our fight against terrorism worldwide. We thank the several other nations of Europe which have contributed to a united effort in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Their sacrifice will not soon be forgotten. We are heartened by the ongoing reconciliation in Northern Ireland and hopeful that its success might be replicated in Cyprus.
The heroism – and the suffering – of the people of Russia over the last century demand the world’s respect. As our allies in their Great Patriotic War, they lost 28 million fighting Nazism. As our allies in spirit, they ended the Soviet terror that had consumed so many millions more. They deserve our admiration and support as they now seek to reestablish their rich national identity. We do have common imperatives: ending terrorism, combating nuclear proliferation, promoting trade, and more. To advance those causes, we urge the leaders of their government to reconsider the path they have been following: suppression of opposition parties, the press, and institutions of civil society; unprovoked invasion of the Republic of Georgia, alignment with tyrants in the Middle East; and bullying their neighbors while protecting the last Stalinist regime in Belarus. The Russian people deserve better, as we look to their full participation in the ranks of modern democracies.
Russia should be granted Permanent Normal Trade Relations, but not without sanctions on Russian officials who have used the government to violate human rights. We support enactment of the Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act as a condition of expanded trade relations with Russia.
Our Unequivocal Support of Israel (Top)
Israel and the United States are part of the great fellowship of democracies who speak the same language of freedom and justice, and the right of every person to live in peace. The security of Israel is in the vital national security interest of the United States; our alliance is based not only on shared interests, but also shared values. We affirm our unequivocal commitment to Israel’s security and will ensure that it maintains a qualitative edge in military technology over any potential adversaries. We support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state with secure, defensible borders; and we envision two democratic states – Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine – living in peace and security. For that to happen, the Palestinian people must support leaders who reject terror, embrace the institutions and ethos of democracy, and respect the rule of law. We call on Arab governments throughout the region to help advance that goal. Israel should not be expected to negotiate with entities pledged to her destruction. We call on the new government in Egypt to fully uphold its peace treaty with Israel.
The U.S. seeks a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, negotiated between the parties themselves with the assistance of the U.S., without the imposition of an artificial timetable. Essential to that process will be a just, fair, and realistic framework for dealing with the issues that can be settled on the basis of mutually agreed changes reflecting today’s realities as well as tomorrow’s hopes.
The Challenges of a Changing Middle East (Top)
We recognize the historic nature of the events of the past two years – the Arab Spring – that have unleashed democratic movements leading to the overthrow of dictators who have been menaces to global security for decades. In a season of upheaval, it is necessary to be prepared for anything. That is true on the ground in the Middle East, and it will be equally true in the next Administration, particularly with a new President unbound by the failures of the past. We welcome the aspirations of the Arab peoples and others for greater freedom, and we hope that greater liberty – and with it, a greater chance for peace – will result from the recent turmoil. Many governments in the region have given substantial assistance to the U.S. over the last decade because they understood that our struggle against terror is not an ethnic or religious fight, and that violent extremists are abusers of their faith, not its champions.
On the other hand, radical elements like Hamas and Hezbollah must be isolated because they do not meet the standards of peace and diplomacy of the international community. We call for the restoration of Lebanon’s independence, which those groups have virtually destroyed. We support the transition to a post-Assad Syrian government that is representative of its people, protects the rights of all minorities and religions, respects the territorial integrity of its neighbors, and contributes to peace and stability in the region. We offer a continuing partnership with the people of Iraq, who have endured extremist terror to now have a chance to build their own security and democracy. We urge special efforts to preserve and protect the ethnic and religious diversity of their nation.
Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capability threatens America, Israel, and the world. That threat has only become worse during the current Administration. A continuation of its failed engagement policy with Iran will lead to nuclear cascade. In solidarity with the international community, America must lead the effort to prevent Iran from building and possessing nuclear weapons capability. We express our respect for the people of Iran, who seek peace and aspire to freedom. Their current regime is unworthy of them. It exports terror and provided weapons that killed our troops in Iraq. We affirm the unanimous resolution of the U.S. Senate calling for “elections that are free, fair, and meet international standards” and “a representative and responsive democratic government that respects human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law.” We urge the next Republican President to unequivocally assert his support for the Iranian people as they protest their despotic regime. We must retain all options in dealing with a situation that gravely threatens our security, our interests, and the safety of our friends.
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2016 PRESIDENTIAL STRAWPOLL