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Strengthening National Security

America is strongest when it leads the way in the world – as a shining example of democracy. With global leadership, the United States has played a critical role in providing stability, prosperity, and strength – defeating tyrants and tackling terrorism. However, as some politicians turn inward, we risk abdicating our nation’s historic role in world leadership. In so doing, others like China and Russia seek to fill the void of leadership, with potentially devastating consequences for our national interests.

America must remain the premier military power in the world. We must give tireless support to the men and women who serve in our military and respect to the fallen and their loved ones. Maintaining military preeminence must remain an important U.S. priority. And this means keeping a strong military with state of the art technology, and with funding for both our troops and our veterans. But a strong military does not necessarily mean a blindly funded one. We must be smart and thoughtful in how we spend our military dollars. And we must pay particular attention to our veterans when they return home from service, especially to protect them from opioids and to care for them through a state of the art VA system.

A cornerstone of America’s leadership role has been our commitment to NATO and our alliances with strong partners, such as Israel, Japan, and South Korea. These alliances have been a key element of American power and to preventing the spread of hateful ideologies in the world and maintaining global stability since WWII. Notably, NATO allies have been there to fight alongside U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. But Donald Trump has little understanding or respect for the importance of our alliances. Creating insecurity about our commitment to these partnerships and openly squabbling with allies only weakens these alliances and gives hope to our adversaries.

Nuclear proliferation is a serious threat to world peace, and the U.S. has a major security interest in ensuring that nuclear weapons do not spread, especially to unfriendly regimes. Although the nuclear agreement with Iran could be strengthened, it is a critical tool for ensuring that Iran does not gain nuclear weaponry. Weakening it risks a resumption of Iranian efforts to develop such weapons and calls into question U.S. credibility. Dealing with North Korea requires every tool at our disposal -- strength, artful diplomacy, and strategic coordination with allies.

Strong national security means creating a principled, agile, and intelligence-driven campaign against terrorism in all forms. This includes state-sponsored terrorists like Iran and North Korea, non-state actors like Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Al-Shabab, and homegrown terrorists like those attacking churches, schools, and nightclubs. We have no option but to be aggressive and smart. In this pursuit, we cannot blindly villainize racial and religious groups, suspending our hard-won American values. We should allocate resources to protecting and innovating our physical and cyber borders, make it harder for bad actors to access weapons, and continue to support our robust military and maintain vigilance with our allies.

Donald Trump’s stated affection for dictators and his hostility to human rights are inconsistent with our security interests. Dictators are enemies of democracy, and promoting democracy is not just a moral imperative but also part and parcel of ensuring a world order conducive to global stability. Likewise, the promotion of human rights has been a hallmark of U.S. policy in the post-WWII period, and abandoning our commitment to them only serves to encourage a global environment contrary to U.S. interests and the well-being of peoples around the globe.

I'm a businessman, not a career politician, so I look at things differently.
Government cannot fix our problems, but I believe we can work together to provide opportunity and create an economy that works for all of us.

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Perry Gershon

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