A Better Way to Keep Us Safe and Free

“The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well-trained, well-equipped, and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”

President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1944)

Earlier this week we marked the 72nd anniversary of D-Day, when more than 156,000 brave men landed on the beaches of Normandy to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation. President Eisenhower, in his address to these young men, reminds us of the strength of powerful leadership.

As turmoil spreads around the globe, the world calls on the United States to lead. And at home, the American people call on the government to keep them safe.

That’s why House Republicans believe so strongly in protecting our homeland, and why the National Security Task Force today unveiled our National Security agenda, A Better Way to Keep Us Safe and Free.

This is about people, not policy. No matter how strong our military, it means nothing if the American people aren’t safe.

The world is different now than it was even ten years ago. As Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) put it this afternoon, “we are in the highest threat environment I have seen since 9/11”. The threats we face now are unique – they are more dangerous and more complex than ever before in history. It’s time for our offense to keep up with this change.

As the threats continue to become greater, it’s clear that our safety has not been taken seriously by an Administration that has experimented with a new foreign policy concept – leading from behind – that can now be declared an unambiguous failure.

A failure that Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) of the Armed Services Committee says has meant “seven and a half years of trying to force this narrative that the terrorists are on the run, we don’t really have to be serious about it, and there is a lot of frustration.”

So what are we doing about all of this?

Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) says that we need American leadership on the world stage:. “Our relationship with Russia is partly a policy failure of this administration going back to the restart with Russia. When you think about it, at that time the administration made the decision to pull out of Eastern Europe the very antimissile defense system—intercept system—that we were to deploy in Poland and in the Czech Republic in case there was ever a launch from Iran towards Europe or towards the United States. In exchange for doing that, Putin sensed weakness. And on and on it went, with our red line in Syria, and then into Ukraine. Weakness, and no push back. So, I think that we see what the takeaway was, not just for the Russians.

“Why aren’t we broadcasting into Russia in the same way that Russia uses RT television? Why don’t we have an effective policy today? Reform the BBG. I have legislation to do that that we put in the NDAA bill with [Chairman Thornberry’s] help.”

And Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) reminds us that we need more resources for our “military and intelligence organizations and law enforcement” to be able to combat the diverse threats facing our nation.

From cybercrime to terrorism to nuclear arms development — to what Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) of the Intelligence Committee defines as “the greatest intelligence failure” since 9/11 –, we must continue to allocate resources to attack every angle, every cell, every shred of a threat to our country.

We need a thoughtful approach to finding success in protecting our citizens.

We need a better way.