In Brief: the 2008 GOP National Platform – National Security

Let’s continue with our sprint through our National Party Platform.

I’ll repeat what I stated yesterday – GOP candidates for office should borrow a lot from our well written National Platform. It’s clear that many campaigns need all the help they can get when it comes to articulating their positions on the issues. It’s also my view that between terrific think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and this document, candidates and campaigns will have all the input they’ll need from the conservative policy experts.

Today let’s review the other two sections within the National Security chapter. Here are the sections, headings and sub-headings:

Supporting Our Heroes

Providing for the Armed Forces

      National Guard and Reserves

      Personnel policies

Fulfilling our Commitment to our Veterans

      Economic Opportunity for Veterans

      Veterans’ Health Care and Disability System

Procurement Reform

Securing the Peace

Promoting Human Rights and American Values

      State Department Reform

      Public Diplomacy

      Human Trafficking

Sovereign American Leadership in International Organizations

Helping Others Abroad

Strengthening Ties in the Americas

Advancing Hope and Prosperity in Africa

Partnerships across the Asia-Pacific Region

      India, Pakistan, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, and Burma

Strengthening Our Relations with Europe


The Middle East

Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran

Under “Providing for…” is this:

“Injured military personnel deserve the best medical care our country has to offer. The special circumstances of the conflict in Iraq have resulted in an unprecedented incidence of traumatic brain injury, which calls for a new commitment of resources and personnel for its care and treatment. We must make military medicine the gold standard for advances in prosthetics and the treatment of trauma and eye injuries.”

Under “Personnel policies” is this (with emphasis added):

“The all-volunteer force has been a success.  We oppose reinstituting the draft, whether directly or through compulsory national service. We support the advancement of women in the military and their exemption from ground combat units. Military priorities and mission must determine personnel policies. Esprit and cohesion are necessary for military effectiveness and success on the battlefield. To protect our servicemen and women and ensure that America’s Armed Forces remain the best in the world, we affirm the timelessness of those values, the benefits of traditional military culture, and the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service.”

Here is the text of the “Procurement Reform” in its entirety:

“The military’s partners are the men and women who work in the defense industry and civilian sector, supplying the Armed Forces with weapons and equipment vital to the success of their mission.  To ensure that our troops receive the best material at the best value, we must reform the defense budgeting and acquisition process to control costs and ensure vigorous and fair competition. We will not allow congressional pork to take the place of sound, sustained investment in the nation’s security.”

The next section is “Securing the Peace,” and this sentence follows:

“The Republican vision of peace through strength requires a sustained international effort, which complements our military activities, to develop and maintain alliances and relationships that will lead to greater peace and stability.”

Under the “Promoting Human Rights and American Values” heading is this:

“The international promotion of human rights reflects our heritage, our values, and our national interest.  Societies that enjoy political and economic freedom and the rule of law are not given to aggression or fanaticism. They become our natural allies. Republican leadership has made religious liberty a central element of U.S. foreign policy. Asserting religious freedom should be a priority in all America’s international dealings. We salute the work of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and urge special training in religious liberty issues for all U.S. diplomatic personnel.”

Amen to all of that. Since religious freedom is guaranteed in our First Amendment, it’s high time for similar training on religious liberty issues to be a part of our public school curriculum.

What is under the heading “Sovereign American Leadership in International Organizations” should be read by all GOP candidates. A few excerpts from there put into bullet points (with emphasis added):

  • The United States participates in various international organizations which can, at times, serve the cause of peace and prosperity, but those organizations must never serve as a substitute for principled American leadership.
  • Nor should our participation in them prevent our joining with other democracies to protect our vital national interests.
  • As a matter of U.S. sovereignty, American forces must remain under American command.
  • Discrimination against Israel at the UN is unacceptable.
  • Because the UN has no mandate to promote radical social engineering, any effort to address global social problems must respect the fundamental institutions of marriage and family. We assert the rights of families in all international programs and will not fund organizations involved in abortion.

This is the opening of the “Helping Others Abroad” heading (emphasis added):

“Americans are the most generous people in the world. No nation spends more in combined public and private efforts to combat disease and poverty around the world, and no nation works harder to ensure the continued vitality of the global economy. Our reasons for doing so are both moral and practical…a world where half of the human race lives on a few dollars a day is neither just nor stable.

Including the world’s poor in an expanding circle of development is part and parcel of the Republican approach to world trade through open markets and fair competition.  It must also be a top priority of our foreign policy.  Decades of massive aid have failed to spur economic growth in the poorest countries, where it has often propped up failed policies and corrupt rulers.”

Again – the entire text is recommended reading for candidates.

As would be expected, the Platform is generalized language that outlines the principles at the foundation of our party’s approach to solving policy problems. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth reading or understanding – just the opposite – it represents what should be the base-line understanding for our would-be political leaders.

Up next: Government Reform.