John Kasich - AIPAC Speech Washington, D.C. March 21, 2016
A COMPREHENSIVE OUTLINE FOR AMERICAN SECURITY IN A CHAOTIC WORLD
Overdue Leadership Against Terrorism & Resurgent Powers Requires A New Commitment to Military Strength, Allied Relationships and Our Fundamental Values
The November 13, 2015 attacks on Paris illuminated the enormous chasm between the worldview of civilized people and the worldview of the terrorists who committed these acts of terror. There is no negotiating with this kind of darkness—we must overcome it. Unless we get serious about defeating the evil we witnessed in Paris, we leave the door open to similar attacks in our own cities.
Gov. Kasich has proposed a comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS, strengthen our military, and work with our allies to confront ongoing threats to our mutual security. Bullets may win battles, but ideas win wars. It is not enough to defeat terrorists and stand-down regional bullies. We must reassert our Western values of democracy, human rights, and individual freedom if we hope to secure the long-term stability of America and preserve our way of life.
Defeat ISIS: Wiping ISIS off the map requires a complex, collaborative strategy involving mutual defense action by NATO—as well as regional allies—in the wake of the attack on France, intensifying international intelligence cooperation, increasing support to the highly-effective Kurdish military, creating safe havens and no-fly zones, combating human trafficking in refugees, a NATO & regional coalition with ground troops, and more aggressively fighting the war of ideas to discredit ISIS.
CHALLENGE REGIONAL AGGRESSION: America’s unwillingness to lead in the fight against terrorism has wrongly signaled to opponents with expansionist agendas, such as Russia and China, that belligerent actions will be tolerated. U.S. must reassert its strength to reverse these losses in leadership and security.
Stand Up to Russia:The U.S. must work together with our European allies to strengthen new NATO member states on the front lines with Russia, such as Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, by supplying them, repositioning existing U.S. forces onto their eastern borders supported by a new, strong integrated air defense system there, and jointly committing to higher defense spending targets. We must also help ensure a free Ukraine by training and arming Ukrainian forces with the weapons they have requested and which Congress has approved.
Counter China:In order to stand by our allies who feel threatened by China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea, the U.S. must work with regional allies to significantly increase our military presence in region and ensure freedom of navigation for the $5.3 trillion in annual trade that passes through the Western Pacific. We must help Japan defend its territorial waters with advanced seabed acoustic sensors, anti-ship missiles and other defensive equipment. We must also forward deploy our Pacific combat commander to Guam and station additional Air Force and Marines Corps units in the Western Pacific where they can conduct regular joint regional amphibious landing exercises.
RENEW OUR MILITARY: As America’s commitment to security leadership has withered, our military has been neglected. John Kasich has called for $102 billion in increased defense spending over the next eight years to improve our conventional capabilities and create new cyber defense resources to better safeguard our security.
IT STARTS WITH THE ECONOMY:Military strength requires economic strength, and Gov. Kasich has crafted a realistic plan to revive the economy by cutting taxes, balancing the budget in eight years, and cutting regulations that kills jobs.
REBUILD THE U.S. MILITARY FROM THE GROUND UP:We must rebuild our defenses while leveraging the strengths of our allies in order to effectively challenge the capabilities of our enemies. We can ensure that scarce resources reach the troops who need them most by streamlining Pentagon bureaucracy and transforming procurement processes to get new weapons systems into the field on time and on budget.
Strengthen cyber defenses:We must defend against cyber attacks on our government and businesses, as well as counter the online activities of jihadis and other opponents. We must work with our allies to identify sources of attack and develop a coordinated response to anyone that attacks the resources of our government and the private sector.
RENEW OUR ALLIANCES: There is strength in numbers and consensus, but our allies feel neglected and abused. We must rebuild these critical relationships in order to better advance our national interests the leadership that produces much-needed global stability. Among other actions, this includes standing by Israel—our strongest ally in the Middle East, supporting Ukraine in its challenges from Russia, standing by Egypt as it fights terrorist insurgencies from Sinai and Libya, supporting our Pacific allies in the face of Chinese belligerence and supporting Israeli efforts defend itself and oppose Iranian-backed terrorism in the region.
RECOMMIT OURSELVES TO OUR FUNDAMENTAL VALUES: By using public diplomacy to spread the ideas that are foundational to our own freedom and prosperity, the U.S. can play a critical role in making the world more stable. We must rededicate ourselves to the values that underpin and unite the Western world: democracy, a respect for individual and civil liberties, a respect for human rights, a belief in the equality of men and women, and a tolerance of different worldviews and religious beliefs. We must develop new strategies for fighting the war of ideas over the Internet, social media, and video, as well as the traditional tools of television, radio, and satellite. At the same time we must also develop stronger measures to combat jihadist efforts to recruit and spread their message via the Internet.
BOTTOM LINE: America has wavered in its resolve to stand up for what it believes. Into this vacuum extremism has spread and our nation-state opponents have pursued their own interests at the expense of ours and our allies. We must choose to lead once again, which requires us to rebuild the tools of leadership—our military and the force-multiplying relationships with the allies who share our basic values. Then, we must act decisively to advance our national interests and proclaim our fundamental values in order to sustainably secure global stability by winning the war of ideas.