I fought for this country as a Cavalry Scout in the U.S. Army in Iraq. I served two deployments there, one in 2004 for Iraq's first free election post Saddam, and one in 2007 during the troop surge. My unit lost over 30 men during the deployments and more to invisible wounds of war after the deployment. Our service-members deserve the best possible equipment, they should never have to walk into just a "fair" fight. They also deserve to be taken care of correctly in housing without black mold, contaminates in their water, and with pay appropriate to their duty and location. The military has sacrificed readiness during the Biden administration by not ensuring that the people come in a very close second right behind the mission.
We need to ensure that we are ready to face a near peer threat like China or Russia. The recent war in Ukraine and internal struggles in China may give solace to some commentators. The reality is that these nations, along with North Korea and Iran, are built on the idea of force. If they feel backed into a corner, it could very well lead to conflict with the United States and we must be ready. We need to care for our troops and ensure they have the best equipment. We must accelerate transition to joint command and control structures. We must continue to innovate and modernize our cyber programs and nuclear triad.
On foreign affairs decisions, and especially those related to defense, I will always put America, our interests, and our forces first. We have seen what happens when we get dragged into using our military for things it was never intended to do, like nation building. We need to refocus our military on the mission of fighting and winning wars. We must also take back the overreaching power of the President to conduct long-term-open-ended operations without a declaration of war. The United States is and should remain the leader of the free world. We need to be engaged, but that doesn't mean we need to be the world police for things that would be better handled locally.