Homeland Security

An Arms Trade Treaty makes sense for US interests

Events of the last month have raised new questions about U.S. national and economic security. The debt ceiling crisis, credit rating downgrade, stock market instability in New York (and around the globe), as well as the downing of a U.S. helicopter in Afghanistan and anticipated but undefined defense budget cuts have all contributed to a sense of fiscal and security unease.

What is not in question, however, is that a strong Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) makes national security sense, and that it makes financial sense for those invested in the responsible arms trade.

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The future has arrived

In the Cold War years following World War II, the United States established the strategic goal of combat air superiority. It was achieved through the design and production of advanced aircraft and, equally important, advanced armaments.
 
This air superiority was established beginning with the introduction of the Sidewinder missile in the 1950s and followed by the radar guided Sparrow and the AIM-120, the best anti-aircraft missile to date. The AIM-120 is a ‘fire and forget’ radar-guided, all-weather missile worthy of its nickname, “Slammer.” Deployed on F-15 fighter jets, these missile systems amassed an astonishing combat kill ratio of more than 100-to-zero.

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Looking for defense cuts? Go nuclear

As the dust settles on the just-passed budget deal, one thing is becoming clear: there is now high-level bipartisan agreement that the U.S. defense budget will be reduced in a major way, anywhere from $350 to $850 billion over the next decade, according to the White House. And despite defense hawk grumblings, reductions of this magnitude can actually make America safer by forcing leaders to cancel low-priority programs and focus on the ones that really matter. It’s time to get serious about our top security priorities and cut the dead wood.

For example, can the Nation really afford to spend more than $200 billion over the next ten years to rebuild the U.S. nuclear arsenal? Republican senators demanded, and won, a promise from the Obama administration to do just that when the New START treaty was approved last year. But that was then. Can all of this funding be justified in the post-budget-deal era? No, it can’t.

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Obama administration’s attempt to implement a backdoor amnesty must be stopped

Grace Meng gets it wrong in her recent op-ed, “Put a stop to the HALT Act.” What really needs to be stopped is the Obama administration’s attempt to implement a backdoor amnesty.

Although Congress has defeated amnesty for illegal immigrants several times in recent years, this has not stopped President Obama and his administration from abusing executive branch authority to allow illegal immigrants to remain in the United States.

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Keep Our Communities Safe Act prevents tragedies

Laura Murphy’s recent op-ed, “Proposed immigration detention bill must never become law,” is misleading. The Keep Our Communities Safe Act is needed to keep dangerous criminal immigrants off of our streets.

Because of two recent Supreme Court rulings, federal officials have been forced to release into our neighborhoods thousands of criminal immigrants who cannot be deported. These criminal immigrants include rapists, child molesters, and murderers. 

In two tragic instances, criminal immigrants released because of the Supreme Court rulings have gone on to commit murder. Huang Chen was ordered removed for assaulting Qian Wu. China refused to grant Huang the necessary documents and he was released as a result of Zadvydas. He then committed another assault and was again ordered removed, but again China refused to issue travel documents. Huang was again released. He went on to violently murder Mr. Wu. 

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FBI must investigate alleged wiretapping of 9/11 victims

Rep. Peter King made the following statement Wednesday, July 13 in a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Dear Director Mueller: 

I am writing to urge that the FBI immediately commence an investigation of News Corporation pertaining to recent media reports alleging that journalists working at the News of the World, a News Corp. subsidiary, attempted to obtain phone records of victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11 through bribery and unauthorized wiretapping. I make this request not only as the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, but as a Member of Congress who represents a district that lost more than 150 constituents in those terrorist attacks. It is my duty to discern every fact behind these allegations.

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Why are foreign terrorists given the rights of U.S. citizens?

Sen. McConnell made the following statement Wednesday regarding the Obama administration’s decision to import a foreign terrorist into New York.

Yesterday afternoon, we learned that over the weekend a Somali terrorist, who had been held and interrogated on a U.S. Navy ship for the past two and half months, has been flown to New York to face criminal charges in a civilian court. I strongly disagree with this decision.

Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame is a foreign enemy combatant. He should be treated as one; he should be sitting in a cell Guantanamo Bay, and eventually be tried before a military commission. Warsame is an admitted terrorist.

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Time for cooperative missile defense now

Last week we saw Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards conducted ballistic missile exercises. This show of bravado is not just worrisome, it demonstrates to all that missiles in the wrong hands threaten our friends and even our homeland. Matched with the Iranian nuclear ambitions, we are entering a very dangerous time. 

It is clear we need to move out of the old mindset, and realize we are facing new threats and new potential enemies. We need a new response.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the most successful defense alliance the world has ever seen, must adapt to protect our values and way of life for the next 60 years, as it did for the previous.

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TSA abuses and failures

The press reports are horrifying: 95 year-old women humiliated; children molested; disabled people abused; men and women subjected to unwarranted groping and touching of their most private areas; involuntary radiation exposure. If the perpetrators were a gang of criminals, their headquarters would be raided by SWAT teams and armed federal agents. Unfortunately, in this case the perpetrators are armed federal agents. This is the sorry situation ten years after the creation of the Transportation Security Administration.

The requirement that Americans be forced to undergo this appalling treatment simply for the "privilege" of traveling in their own country reveals much about how the federal government feels about our liberties. The unfortunate fact that we put up with this does not speak well for our willingness to stand up to an abusive government.

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Addressing the threat of weapons of mass destruction

Our enemies have made no secret of their desire to use weapons of mass destruction to attack the United States.  

Last year, the Committee on Homeland Security received testimony from former Senators Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and Jim Talent (R-Mo.), the Commissioners of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism (WMD Commission). At that hearing, the Commissioners noted that, “it is more likely than not that there will be ... a weapon of mass destruction used someplace on earth by a terrorist group before the end of the year 2013 and that it is more likely that the weapons will be biological rather than nuclear.”  

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