“I do not believe that the cause of freedom ended with the close of the last century, nor that America can afford complacency in its defense. America is still the hope of the world. We must confront clearly and courageously the threats to freedom, and we must resolutely sustain the capabilities we need to protect our security and sustain the cause of liberty.” – Mitt Romney 6/1/2009 Washington, D.C.
Summary: Mitt Romney on National Defense
- Complete the non-nuclear ballistic missile defense system.
- Increase defense budget to 4% of GDP (gross domestic product).
- Add 100,000 more troops to our armed forces.
- Repair or replace military equipment lost in Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
- Work to better protect ourselves from cyber-attack.
- Increase number of naval vessels and aircraft to levels needed to do their missions.
- Terrorists should not have access to our civil courts or be imprisoned on U.S. soil.
Videos: Mitt Romney on National Defense
Mitt Romney Speaks About Missile Defense
Mitt Romney Talks About Domestic Intelligence
Quotes: Mitt Romney on National Defense
Mitt Romney on Rebuilding Military:
“To battle the threat of radical Jihadists, we have sent the most courageous and brave soldiers in the world. But their numbers have been depleted by the Clinton years when troops were reduced by 500,000, when 80 ships were retired from the Navy, and when our human intelligence was slashed by 25%. We were told that we were getting a peace dividend. We got the dividend, but we didn’t get the peace. In the face of evil in radical Jihad and given the inevitable military ambitions of China, we must act to rebuild our military might–raise military spending to 4% of our GDP, purchase the most modern armament, re-shape our fighting forces for the asymmetric demands we now face, and give the veterans the care they deserve.” – 2/7/08 at CPAC 2008
Mitt Romney on Increasing the Size of Our Military:
“I’m recommending that we add 100,000 active-duty personnel to our military. We’re right now at about 1.5 million. Take that up to about 1.6 million. We found in our state that we were losing enrollees for the National Guard at about 6% per year. And the legislature and I got together and passed something called the Welcome Home Bill. We said if you’ll sign up for the National Guard, we’ll pay for your entire education for four years. We put in some other benefits as well–life insurance and other features that we decided to pay for. The result of that was, the next year enrollments went up 30%. So if we want more people to sign up for the military, we have to improve the deal. Our GI Bill has gotten a little old. We need to update our funding level for that, so that young people who go into the military get a full ride as they come home and get to go into college.” – 1/24/08 at Boca Raton, FL debate
Mitt Romney on Increasing Defense Budget:
“America alone is strong. America standing with its allies is a good deal stronger. But as Thomas Donnelly and Frederick Kagan observe in Ground Truth, our allies are disarming at the same time that our potential foes are rearming. China and Russia are spending more than 4 percent of their GDP on their military, but France and the United Kingdom spend less than 2.5 percent, Italy 1.8 percent; Germany allocates only 1.3 percent, and consistent with its postwar commitments, Japan spends less than 1.0 percent on defense. Raising the United States defense budget from 3.8 to 4 percent of our GDP would add about $30 billion to defense. Raising defense spending by these five allies to 4 percent of their GDP would add ten times that amount to our combined defense. It is time for our allies to increase their investment in national and global security in order to assume their fair share of the load and to strengthen our combined capabilities.” – No Apology, p. 97