My father taught me that only when our nation’s defense is strong can our democracy be secure. Protecting our citizens from foreign and domestic threats is an indisputable priority. We must have the strongest national defense possible at the most effective cost. Spending more money does not make us better, spending smarter makes us better.
As a longtime member of Business Executives for National Security I have worked on a Congressionally mandated panel evaluating the performance of the CIA and our homeland security strategy and structure. I’ve also written two books on national security for Yale University Press and understand the policy framework needed to make these decisions. My national security viewpoint is based on these experiences:
- Sometimes the best offense is a good defense. Our intelligence community must be strengthened to act as an early warning system against those who wish to harm us.
- Performance should matter. We need to hold both the Pentagon and our defense contractors accountable and insist on high performance standards. Where waste or inefficiency exists, we should remedy it.
- Public-private partnerships encourage innovation. We need to focus our resources on developing the most advanced weapon systems possible while building the public-private partnerships needed to ensure that Defense Department research and development fuels innovation in the private sector
- We can learn from one another. Our homeland security system must be rationalized with a greater emphasis on intelligence sharing between Federal, State, Local, and Tribal authorities and an increased priority to share information with those who need it most immediately to protect Americans from harm.