by Rep. Jim Banks - National Review - February 9, 2018
America’s military must be ready to fight and win on every battlefield, in every domain, on every day. That daunting task is more challenging than ever. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stated in the Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy that “free men and women in America’s military will fight with skill and valor to protect us.”
As a nation, we must be equally willing to support our military with the resources necessary to be ready for today’s challenges and tomorrow’s uncertainties.
The strategic environment is increasingly complex. Competition among top-tier national powers is intensifying. Russia has shown disregard for treaties such as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Treaty on Open Skies. China continues to make unjustified maritime claims in the South China Sea, increasing regional tensions. The risk of military confrontation will increase as Russia and China enhance their military capabilities, including in space and cyberspace...
Military readiness to conduct operations — from security cooperation to countering terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, deterring adversaries, and being prepared to defend the homeland from attack in all domains — is paramount.
As the most recently deployed member of Congress, having served in Afghanistan in 2014 and 2015, I have seen our readiness crisis firsthand. It has only intensified after a period of stepped-up military activity carried out while the Budget Control Act shrank defense budgets...
Our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen deserve our greatest support and will never fail us. The American people demand nothing less than the best.
To read the entire op-ed, click here.