Editor’s Note: The author is the governor of Ohio and served 18 years on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee. He is a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
John Kasich: U.S. must maintain its security in world; economic growth is key to keeping military strong
He says U.S. needs leadership to build military and alliances, engage adversaries and be willing to project force decisively if needed
No realistic look at the world today will leave us feeling good about America’s security.
Terrorism is increasingly striking here at home. Regional powers are challenging the postwar security order. Nuclear weapons are proliferating. Cyberspace has become a battlefield. The U.S. has neglected both our military and our alliances and has apparently decided, instead, to try to lead from behind.
America urgently needs vision, stronger policies and the means to implement them to restore our nation’s international standing and leadership.
The economy is the forgotten starting point for this discussion.
In my 18 years as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I never met a president who understood the link between a strong economy and strong national security better than Ronald Reagan. He was relentless in pursuing economic growth because he knew it would allow us to rebuild our military and win the Cold War. Putting Reagan’s wisdom to work today means taking on America’s $18 trillion debt and $463 billion deficit – the two greatest barriers to the economic growth it takes to keep us safe.
That is why I support a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. When Washington takes up less space in the economy, job creators have more room to thrive. As chairman of the House Budget Committee, I led the last successful effort to balance the federal budget, and as governor of Ohio, I closed an $8 billion budget shortfall without increasing taxes. The next president must know how to balance budgets and keep them balanced, because it is the first thing we must do to keep America safe.
Our second priority must be renewing our Navy. Other services have legitimate needs too, but reinvigorating the Navy’s ability to project power globally is critical to defending and advancing American interests, including ensuring the free flow of global commerce.
Those who mistakenly think they can deny access to a corner of the world – particularly in the Western Pacific and Persian Gulf – need another visit from a carrier battle group to remind them that the