The 2012 election marks the first time since 1944 that there are no war veterans among the Democratic and Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates. But the candidates still recognize the importance of national defense in keeping America safe. After the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the government has sought to improve the security of its citizens. The Department of Homeland Security was established in 2001 to focus on this issue. The current presidential candidates have their own ideas on how to maintain and improve security while being on the watch for terror attacks.
* Barack Obama believes in cutting down on defense spending, which includes cuts to the U.S. military. In 2008, the President’s plan brought home more than 142,000 U.S. troops who were serving in Iraq. He wants to continue to cut down on military costs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here are some of his plans for defense:
-Stop defense programs that are not performing and that are over-budget. Make sure taxpayer dollars are only used to buy what the nation reasonably needs, while making technology available to meet goals.
-Work with China, Russia and other nations to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
-Work to address Israel’s security needs to make sure Israel is a safe homeland for the Jewish people.
-Improve the lives of military veterans and their families. Work with companies to make sure veterans can find work when they come home from war.
* Mitt Romney believes in rebuilding military strength with government spending. As President, he would reverse Obama’s defense cuts and attempt to get more out of taxpayer dollars. Romney supported the Iraq war and wants to maintain military presence in the Middle East. Here are some of his plans for defense:
-Increase the strength of the armed forces, including the number of troops and U.S. Navy warships.
-Expand missile defense systems, the network of unmanned weapons that can respond to an attack by a hostile country or group without sending troops to enemy territory.
-Reverse President Obama’s defense cuts to set basic defense spending at 4% of the GDP (gross domestic product).
* The candidates’ positions are culled from their websites and other primary sources.