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I believe in peace through strength. That’s military strength, it’s moral strength, it’s economic strength, it’s personal strength. Above all, it’s the strength that it takes to make a stand. Militarily we have to stand up against the notion that investing in our troops isn’t necessary. It is always necessary to invest in the strategic strength of the United States of America. We cannot allow our military and veterans to be cast off to the side. And it does upset me that we do not see more of our presidential nominee candidates on the Republican Party side not talking about national security and not talking about their vision for securing the United States of America.
These men and women put their lives on the line for us, even during those so-called times of peace. And if we aren’t willing of giving them every ounce of support that they need, then we do not deserve to have the title of being called a [hegemon]. We are truly the world’s last best hope for freedom and democracy. We are that lighthouse to a stormy sea. But we’ll cease to be those things if we forget our fighting men and women, our fighting men and women who are the fittest, finest force that the history of this world has ever known. And we have to be sure that that never changes.
Morally, we have to stand up to the unerring axiom that there is good and evil in the world. And in those cases where evil brings the fight to good, we must be willing to ensure that good does prevail. We must stand beside that friend, Israel, who shares our commitment. And that means battling violent extremism wherever it is in operation. That means in Tel Aviv as well as New York City. It means in Jerusalem, just the same as Chicago or just the same as LA.
But economically, we have got to move away from this sense of crony capitalism and the adverse effects that it has on our national security.
We spent $1.36 trillion propping up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That would’ve funded the entire base budget of the Department of Defense for three years. We spent $79.69 billion to bail out the automobile industry. That would’ve funded navy shipbuilding for over five years. We spent $535 million of taxpayer money into the now-bankrupt solar power company Solyndra. That would’ve completed this year’s navy backlog of ship maintenance, and you still would’ve had $200 million left over. We spent $3 billion in taxpayer money for Cash for Clunkers. That would’ve purchased 125 new amphibious assault vehicles to meet the military needs of our United States Marine Corps to get them from ship to shore.
China now has over 60 attack submarines. We’re about to fall under the requirement of 48 attack submarines. With the taxpayer money that we spent to bail out AIG, we could’ve purchased 44 attack submarines. The money that we spent to bail out Bank of America would’ve covered our navy carrier shortfall 10 times over. With the taxpayer money that the United States pays to China in the interest on public debt, the air force could’ve afforded to buy three F-22 fighters, jets, per week. But of course, we have canceled that program.
Finally, we have to take a stand and be firm in our convictions. And that is understanding that it is America’s people that make America great. Because as David Horowitz so well knows, there is tyranny in the idea that at the end of the day, a person is not responsible for his fortune or for his fate. And that is the tyranny we face here domestically every single day, from within, with a liberal, progressive, socialist agenda whose goal is to prop up, to grow and to promote the bureaucratic nanny state. That type of thinking leads inexorably to a government that usurps the dignity of the citizens it professes to be serving.
We must not forget that each of us has the right, given [to] God, to fail or succeed; to make of our own lives what we may with as little interference as possible. For it was Thomas Jefferson who said the government that is big enough to give you everything that you want is also big enough to take it away.
We must never forget the incredible American heritage that we must be proud of. So I want to share with you a couple of final quotes. As Roger Sherman warned us after signing the Declaration of Independence — sad will be the day when the American people forget their traditions and their history, and no longer remember that the country they love, the institutions they cherish and the freedom they hope to preserve were born from the throes of armed resistance to tyranny and nursed in the rugged arms of fearless men.
And if that is not enough, let’s close by remembering the words of John Stuart Mill, when he said war is an ugly thing, but it is not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth a war is much worse. Therefore, the magnificence of David Horowitz and his Freedom Center is that they understand that we are fighting against that decaying state of moral and patriotic sense in our America. But leave here today taking heart. Because we shall prevail.
So God bless you all. God bless our America. And thank you for having me here.
Unidentified Speaker: The congressman can take a couple questions. We are taping this. So Elizabeth has the microphone. So if someone has a question, she will find you.
Carl: Yes, thank you, Congressman.
I’d like your insight as to what are the criteria for the use of American forces. There’s one school that says you use the American forces when the national interest of the United States is involved.
Allen West: Yes.
Carl: The other school says you use it on humanitarian, global interests. And we went to war in Kosovo for humanitarian interests, we went to war in Libya for humanitarian interests, and we now have 100 troops in Uganda for humanitarian interests. What are your views on that?
Allen West: Well, I think that when you look at the missions of the United States military, of course there’s a broad spectrum. And you do have to have engagement in certain areas. But I think that we have to be clearly defined in the goals and objectives any time we employ our military.
Now, when you’re talking about employing your military in a combat operation in that type of sense, then you have to have some type of threat against the United States, as we have been attacked, our interests have been attacked or our men and women in uniform have been attacked.
And I think that right now it’s a moving target. First of all, we don’t really know who we’re fighting against. And when you say this war on terror — but then you narrowly bring it down to it’s just Taliban or al-Qaeda, then what about Hamas? What about Hezbollah? What about Islamic jihad? What about al-Quds? What about Al oxa? What about JET, LET, Hikani, Abu Sayyaf? I mean, we can go on ad nauseam, ad infinitum.
So I think that that’s why you have to have people that sit back and really understand what is this 21st century battlefield. There are many different parts of it. I mean, there’s an economic war, as we talked about, going on with China. But when you’re employing your military forces, if you’re employing them in a combat sense, you have to understand clearly what are the desired end states that you want to have.
A lot of people get hung up about what’s the exit strategy. Well, the exit strategy has to be very simple, as I spoke to with a young Code Pink lady a couple of weeks ago. She said you have to end the wars. Well, first of all, there are only two ways that you end a war. You win, or you lose. And Ronald Reagan was very clear when he said — we win, they lose.
But the first thing we have to do is understand who is “they.” And we have never been able to clearly articulate that on this modern battlefield. Now, I have no problems with our military going in with humanitarian assistance. When I was in Afghanistan and the earthquake hit over in Pakistan, we sent military support into Pakistan. That is a means by which you can defeat the enemy. Because now, all of a sudden, you are using that as a tool of propaganda to show that we are here to help; they are not. And we have the capacity to do that.
But as well, you have to be focused on the enemy. And I think that’s what we got away from, is really being focused on the enemy on this battlefield. And we got to what I call, like I said, nation-building, occupation-style warfare. Building schools, building hospitals, you know, repairing roads — that’s fine. But that’s not really the essential mission of the United States military. And what they don’t understand is that at nighttime, after you’ve built all these schools and the bad guy comes in, if you’re not there to provide that security, they could care less about the school and all of those things being built.
So once again, it comes back to having people that first define who the enemy is, so we can focus on this enemy. Do the requirements assessment across the geographic AORs to develop the right capacity and capability. We’ve got soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines that have been out there five and six tours. You run them into the ground.
When it comes to these humanitarian assistance missions, make sure that we properly define them. Because the last thing I want to see happen is exactly what happened in Somalia, back in 1993, where we decided we were going to go in for a humanitarian assistance mission. And the next thing you know, it morphed into something totally bad, and we weren’t prepared for it. And what happened? The Battle of Mogadishu. Eighteen rangers were killed, I think 59 to 65 were wounded; even though they were very successful — I believe the enemy body count was over 1,000. But what did the enemy see us do? They saw us withdrawing. That’s the message that we don’t want to send. Because remember Osama bin Laden said the United States of America is nothing more than a paper tiger, after he saw what we did in Somalia.
So the most important thing, in answering your question, is developing the strategic goals and objectives of the military. That starts with the national security strategy coming out of the White House. Then that goes over to the Pentagon to develop the national military strategy. And then, that goes down to your combatant commanders — CENTCOM, AFRICOM, SOUTHCOM, [PCOM] — so that they can develop their operational theater strategies, and then that gets down to the tactical level. Right now, we don’t have a definitive way ahead.
Allen West: Let me tell you this about Uganda. You know, having been in the military for a few days — if you really want to go in and train a military, that’s called a foreign internal defense mission for your Special Forces guys — FID mission. Special Forces A-Team — the basis of that is 12 individuals. At most, one or two of those Special Forces A-Teams — they can go in and do it. When you’re talking about 100 Green Beret going in, that’s something totally different. And I don’t understand why we’re committing 100 Special Forces Operators to go chasing after some guy that’s been out there doing whatever for the past 20, 25 years.
So trust me, there are some members of Congress that are over there in Africa right now, that are delving into this a little bit deeper. And we’ll do the same thing when we get back up there. And I’m sure we’re going to have a hearing [and ask about] — Armed Services Committee.
Unidentified Audience Member: Thank you.
Of all the candidates, Speaker Gingrich, I think, has been the most forcefully critical of this Super Committee. And he says it should be dissolved. And your remarks pointed to some of the devastating results in the military if the Super Committee, quote, doesn’t do its job.
Allen West: Yes.
Unidentified Audience Member: Many of us wonder — how did that ever happen, where Congress walked away from its responsibility, handing it over to the Super Committee, and agreeing that automatic cuts in defense happen if they don’t do their job?
Allen West: Well, one of the things is, you know, everyone talks about compromise. Compromise, compromise, you know. I don’t believe in compromising your principles. Now, I did vote for the Budget Control Act. I believe it was a 70 to 75 percent solution. I was not for this Super Committee. But I wanted to see us push the ball a little bit further down the court. This Super Committee thing was the brainchild of Harry Reid, that got included in this final agreement that got passed.
There are people in Washington, D.C., and there’s a few on that Super Committee, that see this as the opportunity to destroy defense in the United States of America. And I think it’s so important that you all need to call your representatives and tell them that you don’t want to see that happen. We have already cut the United States military $478 billion over the next 10 years.
Secretary Pennetta and the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, testified before the Armed Services Committee last week — any further cuts will decimate the United States military. Another $500 billion — it’ll destroy the United States military. And we’ve got to understand it can’t be the bill-payer.
We can fix the fiscal irresponsibility in Washington, D.C. GAO Report came out back in February — $200 billion to $300 billion of redundant and duplicative programs in Washington, D.C. There are places where you can find it. But unfortunately, the other side, the Left, has never been fond of the military. And I think you’re seeing that play out in a lot of the policies that have happened over these past 1,000-plus days of the Obama Administration. We can’t allow them to stick a knife into our military.
Please support, you know, the great California Congressman who is the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Buck McKeon. Because he is doing a great job standing up for our military and drawing a line in the sand, saying that the Super Committee must do their job, and there will not be any further cuts.
The great thing is that whatever decisions the Super Committee does come up with, it has to come to the House and the Senate for a vote. And if it has to do anything with further cuts to the military, it’s not passing me.
Unidentified Audience Member: Considering the sheer volume of cyber attacks originating from China, do you consider this an actual act of war? And if so, what do you propose to do about it?
Allen West: Well, it is. And we already have done something about it. We have created a new military command called United States Cyber Command. Because there are dedicated units in China which are seeking to attack not just our military systems but our financial systems all across the board, to include a lot of our defense military industry systems.
So, you know, we’re in a cold war era with China. We have to come to that realization. And the longer that we push it off, then we’re going to find ourselves at a disadvantage. Because by 2016, if we don’t fix our economy, their economy is supposed to overtake ours. It may not happen by 2016, but they are definitely on that way. If we’re not careful within the next eight to 10 years, the world’s largest blue-water navy will fly under a Chinese flag.
Now, what difference does that make? Well, when you talk about the free trade agreements that we just signed, the means by which a nation can expand its power economically — going back to the Phoenicians, they always knew this — was through the trade, was through the sea lanes of commerce. And if you cannot protect the sea lanes of commerce, what good is it?
It’s going to hurt my heart to say this, being an old soldier — the strength of a nation is in its navy. It’s not in its army. Okay, I know. I mean, whoever is taping this thing, I’m sure I’ll get turned in to the army police.
But I will also finish by saying this — United States Army has more amphibious landings than in the United States Marine Corps. But we have to understand that when you look at what’s just west of here, and what’s just east of me, in Florida, we are a maritime nation. And with the Panama Canal expanding in 2014 to have larger cargo ships, we’ve got to make sure that we are protecting that sea lane of commerce. And we’ve got to make sure that we understand that China is an adversarial nation to us, and they are doing things that truly are mini acts of war, however you want to call it. But it’s still an attack on our systems.
Unidentified Audience Member: I wanted to ask you — first of all, thank you very much for all of this. But what is the ultimate, ultimate way to deal with Iran? Because it seems to be very soon. And what should the US do?
Allen West: There’s only one thing they understand, and that’s strength. The lesson that Islamic nations have learned with the fall and the — well, killing of Muammar Khadafi — don’t give up your nuclear weapons program. Okay? Remember, in 2004, 2005, Khadafi gave up his program? If he still had that program, do you think NATO would’ve been able to go in there willy-nilly, you know, freedom of maneuver, like they just did?
So, guess what — Iran is going to step it up. Pakistan is going to hold onto it even tighter. And if you start to see a proliferation of nuclear weapons throughout the Islamic world — remember mutually assured destruction, that theory that we had between us and the Soviet Union? That’s gone. No MAD theory with these guys. So you’ve got to take an action. You got to take an action against their military capability and capacity.
When people talk about — ah, just increase the sanctions — sanctions means nothing to them. They could care less if their people are suffering. You know, as I said last night, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is going to just get more falafel. Okay? And even worse, they will take that and use it against you by saying — the reason why you, our people, are suffering is because the West is putting these sanctions on you.
We missed a golden opportunity by not supporting that Green Movement. Now, why did we not support that movement, and why did we allow Hosni Mubarak to be deposed? That’s one of those Final Jeopardy questions. But nothing good has come out of Egypt since Hosni Mubarak was deposed. Just the same as nothing good has come out of Iran since the shah of Iran was deposed.
Unidentified Speaker: Okay, this will be our final question.
Unidentified Audience Member: On national security, a little closer to home — couple days ago, a couple of men were arrested for breaking into — I believe it was the State House in San Antonio. And they were Islamic, and they were — they had some plans and schematics from other buildings across the country. Friend of mine who lives in San Antonio told me that the local news was reporting that as a prank. So what do we — you know, I mean, we’re talking about our own news media — what they’re not even telling us.
Allen West: Yes.
Unidentified Audience Member: It’s difficult to understand how we’re going to fight all this from the inside, inside our own country.
Allen West: Well, I got to tell you, once again, the porous nature of the border that you have south of here is a national security issue. There’s a classification of individuals that are being picked up by our border patrol that are not, you know, Hispanic or Mexican. And it’s scary. Because most of them are coming from Middle Eastern backgrounds. When you go along the border, you’re starting to find prayer rugs, you’re starting to find dictionaries that translate Arabic into Spanish, over into English.
So, you know, again, we’ve got to look at this thing from a strategic perspective and understand that one of the reasons why Rome saw itself collapse was when it stopped protecting its northern border. We’ve got to secure that border, we got to enforce our laws. And we got to make sure that we stop allowing sanctuaries to be used by this enemy. Hezbollah is in our hemisphere.
Now, last thing I read, I think the Monroe Doctrine was still a valid piece of law. And so we’re, sooner or later, going to have to look at making sure that we enforce that. Because Iran’s going to come in, China’s going to come in, Russia’s going to come in, all in our back door.
You know, I’ll close with this quote, from Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great said — I do not fear an army of lions if they are led by a lamb — I mean, sheep. I do fear an army of sheep led by lions. Right now, the world is a forest full of wolves, and the United States of America is looked at as sheep. So we need guard dogs. And we need lions. And so I know that’s what each and every one [of you all] —
Allen West: So, God bless you, and thank you so much.
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