AMERICAN NATIONAL SECURITY
By Jon Kyle
At the end of the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein had agreed to terms contained in a cease-fire resolution approved by the United Nations. For the 12 years that followed, he willfully and repeatedly violated those terms, and the United Nations responded by passing more resolutions -- resolutions revamping sanctions, calling for new inspections, and vowing unspecified "consequences" if Saddam continued his violations. Time after time, Saddam refused to comply with the United Nations. Ultimately, military action was the only remaining option available to eliminate the threat posed by his aggressive and dictatorial political regime.
Some question the decision to remove Saddam Hussein, given that large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons were not found. But the inability to find WMD stockpiles now does not mean that Iraq didn't have access to such weapons or that, under Saddam Hussein, Iraq was not a grave and gathering danger. While it is troubling that our intelligence failed in its assessment of Hussein's weapons programs, the fact remains that we know with certainty he once had them, and he used them twice. The gassing of the Iranians and Iraqi Kurds showed the lengths to which he was willing to go to achieve his objectives. The Bush administration, supported by a large coalition of nation-states, pursued a responsible policy, given all of the information it had regarding Saddam's history, aggressive intentions, violations of international law, and previously known capabilities.
Today, the United States and its coalition allies have undertaken an ambitious mission: the fostering of a free and prosperous constitutional democracy in the heart of the Middle East. We seek to offer freedom and hope to a world where tyranny and terror are the only things many people have ever known.
It is undeniable that progress is being made. On June 28, 2004, with Saddam Hussein gone from power, sovereignty was transferred to the people of Iraq. In January of 2005, despite the threats made by insurgents and terrorists, and in the face of those who predicted failure, the Iraqi people voted in their first democratic elections in their entire history. No clearer rejection of terrorism or terrorist groups could be sent than by the long lines of people who defied terrorists and patiently waited to vote, and raised ink-stained fingers in celebration.
Iraq's proposed Constitution has been drafted and is to be submitted to the Iraqi people for ratification in a general referendum held no later than October 15, 2005.
If we are to continue as good stewards to Iraq, we must continue to stand by and guide that country, as it works to solve its remaining fundamental political, legal, and constitutional problems and as it takes its place among the free countries of the world.
In North Korea, the U.S.A. and the international community are faced with a despotic political regime that already possesses nuclear weapons. North Korea has violated every agreement it has ever signed regarding its nuclear programs, including the 1994 Agreed Framework that awarded to North Korea generous economic incentives in return for a promise to abandon its nuclear weapons program. It is clear that negotiating with Kim Jong Il has failed and resulted in a nuclear North Korea that is now attempting to extort even more from the international community.
There are a number of measures still available to deal with North Korea, measures short of military action. Once implemented, these actions will likely create an environment in which North Korea will either have to agree to halt and dismantle its nuclear program, or face economic collapse. This approach should combine economic isolation of the North Korean government by the U.S.A. and its allies, while reaching out to the North Korean people.
With respect to Iran and the threat it is posing, Iran, since its Islamic revolution in 1979, has never ceased its calls for the destruction of Israel. Now, it has become the primary ideological, financial and logistical supporter of terrorists seeking to attack the the U.S.A. and the West in the name of their distorted version of Islam.
Iran is also on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons. While the danger posed by a nuclear-armed Iran is clear, we continue to support diplomatic efforts to divert Iran from its destructive and threatening course. However, talk for the sake of talk is not enough. Iran must demonstrate clearly its willingness to end its pursuit of nuclear weapons, or face consequences for its action. To this end, I cosponsored a U.S. Senate resolution which passed in July, 2004, a resolution expressing the concerns of the Senate about Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and urging that measures, such as referral from the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors to the United Nations Security Council, be taken to bring Iran into compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
The proliferation of ballistic missiles, which can carry nuclear, chemical or biological payloads, is also of serious concern. Roughly two dozen countries, including North Korea and Iran, now have or are developing ballistic missiles. These countries have ballistic missiles capable of striking our allies and U.S. military forces abroad, and are developing longer-range capabilities. And we believe that North Korea's Taepo-Dong II missile is capable of reaching the continental United States. Unfortunately, the U.S.A. does not yet have an operational defense against an accidental or deliberate missile launch, and is vulnerable to blackmail intended to freeze us into inaction by the very threat of missile attack.
President Bush is determined to end this vulnerability and, indeed, we have made great progress toward that objective. In June, 2002, the President withdrew the United States from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which prevented the U.S.A. from developing and deploying missile defenses. I led the Senate fight to scrap that obsolete treaty with a country that no longer existed -- the Soviet Union -- and deploy missile defenses as soon as possible. I am thus pleased to report that we are moving forward with plans to begin operating an initial set of missile defense capabilities this year that will include ground-based interceptors, sea-based interceptors, additional Patriot units, and sensors based on land, at sea, and in space.
U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty and building a missile defense are just two aspects of a new overall approach to strategic security, which also includes major reductions in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. As we decrease the size of that arsenal, it will be important to test our remaining nuclear weapons to ensure their safety and reliability. Without actual nuclear testing, it will become difficult to maintain, let alone modernize, our reduced nuclear arsenal.
The families of those servicemen and servicewomen who make the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation should also receive more of our support. To that end, I am gratified that the 2005 Defense Supplemental Appropriations bill that was signed into law by President Bush in May, 2005, includes a provision I cosponsored increasing the death gratuity paid to families who lose a loved one in combat.
I strongly support the President's call for additional increases in defense spending over the next five years to further improve conditions for our men and women in uniform and to give them the training and equipment they will need to protect the United States and defeat terrorism.
With the passing of sweeping intelligence reform legislation in 2004, the United States government has undertaken the difficult task of reorganizing and optimizing its intelligence gathering, analysis, and dissemination functions. A new National Intelligence Director, Ambassador John Negroponte, has assumed oversight of the entire intelligence community this year. Congress must provide strong oversight to ensure that the intelligence community not only reorganizes but finally reforms the practices and attitudes that, for too long, have undermined our capabilities.
The U.S. government has no higher responsibility than protecting its citizens. I will continue to fight to ensure that our defenses are strong and our military forces are equipped to defend our interests at home and abroad.
The Problem of Rogue States:
Iraq as a Case History
Military Defense & National Security
Military Weaponry & International Security
U.S. Intelligence & America's National Security
Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
Page Three Page Two Page One
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Islanist Terrorism & U.S. Homeland Security
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
War & Peace in the Real World
Page Two Page One
U.S. National Security Strategy
Jon Kyle is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate, elected from and representing the State of Arizona.
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