Ernst and Panel State the Need for a Strong National Security

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst and a panel that followed hammered on the national security threats facing the United States in the administration of whomever is elected to succeed President Obama.

The “Greatest National Security Challenge Facing the Next President” panel contained U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana, Dr. James Carafano from the Heritage Foundation, and Deneen Borelli of the Conservative Review.

Ernst stated that it is in the nature of Americans to help our allies, which comes from our early childhood teaching of helping our own neighbors within our communities. Both Ernst and the panel agreed that in recent years we have failed our allies by not supporting them against the threat of either radical Islam or a revived Russia under Vladimir Putin. Rep. Zinke stated that “We are in retreat and power vacuums have formed in this retreat.” ISIS, Iran, and Russia have taken the opportunity to exploit the situation in Syria. In this hotspot, it was agreed that American troops may be necessary to push out ISIS and restore order before one of these powers fill the vacuum.

In the overall struggle with Russia outside of Syria, we see points of conflict when it comes to Eastern Europe and the North Sea, while also in cyberspace. Zinke stated that “Putin had put Russian flags at the North Pole” referencing the many large scale Russian army and naval operations taking place in the North Sea. While the United States has engaged in training exercises with our allies in the Baltics and Norway, a recent RAND report stated Russia would steamrole NATO forces in the Baltics. As Joni Ernst pointed out, “Our ability to lead is in jeopardy.”

In terms of cyber warfare, Zenke joked that, “I don’t know why we asked the State Department for Hillary’s emails. We should have just asked Putin.” Dr James Carafano, confirmed that Russia poses a great threat to the United States when it comes to cyber security and has often breached our national security.

Borrelli and Ernst both stated that domestic policy has also threatened American national security. Borrelli pointed out, that an energy policy in the United States has destroyed the coal industry in West Virginia and other places. A strong energy policy is important to position the economy so it can contribute to the national security of the country. Borrelli believes keeping industry in America is critical to American national security.

The threat of political correctness was also brought up. “Political correctness kills” Borelli stated, regarding the events in the leadup to the San Bernadino shooting. Political correctness also kills the ability of Americans to grow in thought, and to create an innovative and constructive modern economy.

However, the ending message of this event is that the 2016 election comes down to electing a strong conservative leader who will put national security first and not let America be pushed off the world stage as it is currently. Ronald Reagan once stated, “Freedom is always one generation away from extinction.” All present on stage were in agreement that the citizens of the United States must collectively say now is not the extinction of freedom.