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MEESE: Restoring ‘peace through strength’

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In a world characterized by growing threats to freedom and the U.S. Constitution, America's exceptional role, and indeed our country's very existence, is at risk. We believe such times demanda robust, comprehensive national security posture appropriate to today's threats and tomorrow's. Toward that end, we espouse and will work to achieve the following:

1. Renewed adherence to the national security philosophy of President Ronald Reagan: "Peace through strength." American security is most reliably assured by having military forces that are fully trained, equipped and ready to deter or defeat the nation's adversaries.

2. A robust defense posture including a safe, reliable, effective nuclear deterrent, which requires its modernization and testing; the deployment of comprehensive defenses against missile attack; and national protection against unconventional forms of warfare, including biological, electromagnetic pulse and cyber-attacks.

3. Preservation of U.S. sovereignty against international treaties, judicial rulings and other measures that would have the effect of supplanting or otherwise diminishing the U.S. Constitution and the representative, accountable form of government it guarantees.

4. A nation free of Shariah, the brutally repressive and anti-constitutional, totalitarian program that governs in Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Islamic states and that terrorists are fighting to impose worldwide.

5. Protection from unlawful enemy combatants. Enemies who refuse to wear uniforms, use civilians as shields and employ terrorism as weapons are not entitled to U.S. constitutional rights or trials in our civilian courts. Those captured overseas should be incarcerated at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, which should remain open, or in other prisons outside the United States.

6. Energy security, realized by exploiting to the fullest the natural resources and technologies available in this country. We Americans must reduce our dependence for energy upon - and transfers of national wealth to - enemies of this country.

7. Borders secure against penetration by terrorists, narco-traffickers or others seeking to enter the United States illegally. Aliens who have violated immigration laws should not be rewarded with the privileges of citizenship.

8. High standards that protect the military culture essential to the all-volunteer force. The Pentagon should implement sound priorities, policies and laws that strengthen recruiting, retention and readiness.

9. A foreign policy that supports our allies and opposes our adversaries. It should be clearly preferable to be a friend of the United States, not its enemy.

10. Judicial and educational institutions that uphold the constitutional responsibility of elected officials to make policy for our military and convey to future generations accurate portrayals of American history, including the necessity of defending freedom.

We call on elected officials, candidates for office and others who share these principles to join us in advancing them and, thereby, in restoring the time-tested practice of promoting international peace through American strength.

Edwin Meese is chairman of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Elaine Donnelly, Frank Gaffney, Brian Kennedy, Herbert London, Cliff May and Herman Pirchner are, respectively, presidents of the Center for Military Readiness, the Center for Security Policy, the Claremont Institute, the Hudson Institute, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy and the American Foreign Policy Council.