Platform 2012: National Security
California Democrats support a strong national defense that includes considerations for all aspects of defense, not just defense provided by the Armed Forces. We recognize that our national security depends primarily upon a strong economy, a stable federal budget, a stable environment and our perception in the world as a responsible member of the world community. We are opposed to the notion of world domination and are committed to a foreign policy that holds the use of military force as the last option for national defense, to be used only when available diplomatic and preventive options have been exhausted, in conformity with the United Nations Charter. In that regard, we recognize that the current level of military and security spending - over $1 trillion per year - is:
-unsustainable and unnecessary, and is crippling our government's ability to deal with our many serious problems, including unemployment, massive debt and looming catastrophic global warming;
-almost entirely spent for projection of power overseas through over 700 military bases and preparations for foreign wars, rather than for actual defense of the country (approximately $66 billion); and
-grossly out of proportion with the rest of the world in that the second highest military spending country in the world - China - only spends around $114 billion, and all other countries spend far less.
We will heed President Dwight Eisenhower's admonition that: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children." In this regard, we recognize that every $100 billion/year reallocated from the military to civilian employment would support some 4 million jobs at the median wage.
We support the consolidation of all aspects of the national defense budget, now spread among Defense, State, Energy, Homeland Security and other cabinet departments, into a single, consolidated budget line item, so that redundancies and needless weapons systems and overseas deployments can be eliminated while ensuring that no legitimate aspect of total national defense goes under-served.
To protect and defend California and our Constitution, Democrats will:
- Rebalance our national security portfolio in the context of a consolidated defense budget to place more emphasis on nonmilitary security tools such as diplomacy and foreign aid;
- Reduce the DOD budget by at least 25% - primarily by cutting back on that portion of the DOD budget dedicated to bases in foreign countries, projection of military power overseas and development of weapons of mass destruction, and reallocate the savings to other priorities including assistance to state and local governments to maintain and rehire laid off employees, building out the renewable power grid and rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, investing in technology and manufacturing jobs in the U.S., and deficit reduction;
- Reduce the defense development and procurement programs to those items deemed essential for defense against real and not imagined threats to our homeland and national security interests;
- Ensure that military spending prioritizes defense of the homeland and not the siting of numerous military bases on foreign soil as a substitute for robust diplomatic engagement;
- Increase the security of ports by greatly increasing the inspection routine at all air and seaports and by further limiting points of access and strengthening inspection protocols on all land border crossings;
- Integrate anti-terrorist information and actions by rapidly establishing the free exchange of threat information among the anti-terrorist operating agencies;
- Increase foreign non-military aid dedicated to improved anti-terrorist police training, investigation, information exchange, and international cooperation;
- Reaffirm posse comitatus and forbid the use of American troops on American soil, except in the event of invasion or in an assistance role to the states in the event of a natural disaster, and then only at the request of those states;
- Increase federal funding to states and communities for equipping, training and expanding the force of first-responders;
- Rebuild and strengthen and reaffirm the primary role of the National Guard as the states' principal means of providing internal security under the command of the various governors; and
- Recognize the supremacy of the United States Constitution in all matters, and join our representatives in Congress to reaffirm the civil and personal rights in that document and not trade them off against invasive and intrusive security legislation against imagined or exaggerated threats. "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance" - the price must not be our constitutional rights.