Today, America faces a number of critical challenges. At the top of the list are the threat of radical, violent Jihad and the associated threat of nuclear proliferation.
I think many of us fail to comprehend the extent of this threat. Take former president Jimmy Carter. Carter thinks Israel’s security fence is the thing that keeps peace from coming to the Holy Land.
Having just been to Israel, I came to the opposite conclusion: the security fence keeps peace in Israel – that fence is helping prevent bloodshed and terror and violence.
What Jimmy Carter fails to understand is what so many fail to understand. Whether it’s Hamas, Hizbullah, Al Qaeda or Shia and Sunni extremists, there is an overarching goal among the violent Jihadists, and it transcends borders and boundaries. That goal is to replace all modern Islamic states with a religious caliphate, to destroy Israel, to cause the collapse of the West and the United States, and to conquer the entire world.
Jihadism – violent, radical, fundamental Jihadism – is this century’s nightmare. It follows the same dark path as last century’s nightmares: fascism and Soviet communism. We are faced with the horrific proposition that those who speak of genocide are developing the capability to carry it out.
Radical, nuclear Jihad is the greatest threat that faces humanity. It cannot be appeased. It can only be defeated.
In my view, there are several steps that America has to take.
First, we have to sharply increase our investment in national defense. I want to see at least 100,000 more troops in our military. I want to see us finally make the long overdue investment in equipment and armament, weapon systems, and strategic defense.
That’s going to require that we spend at least 4 percent of our GDP on defense.
In the Korean War, 11.7% of the nation’s economic activity was associated with the protection of this land. During the Reagan years, it reached approximately 6% of our GDP. Today, it’s down to 3.8% and I believe we have to increase at least by 40-50 billion dollars a year our spending on military strength.
Second, America has to become energy independent. Our economic and military strength require it. We use 25% of the world’s oil. The United States has approximately 1.7% of the world’s crude oil reserves. We obviously have to become energy independent for strategic purposes and I’m not just talking about symbolic measures, I mean that we finally have to take the necessary steps to actually produce as much energy as we use.
Third, we have to transform our international civilian resources, to enhance our influence for peace, for security, and for freedom. Just as the military in our country has divided the world into common regions with a single commander for each region, our civilian agencies need to do the same thing.
Fourth, we need to strengthen our old partnerships and alliances, and inaugurate a new one. I agree with former prime minister Aznar of Spain that we should build on the NATO alliance to defeat radical Islam.
And further, if I were fortunate enough to be elected president, I’d call for a National Summit of Nations to create a new partnership – a Partnership for Hope and Prosperity.
This partnership would assemble the resources of all the nations of the world to work to assure that Islamic states that are threatened with violent jihad have public schools that are not Wahhabi madrasas; that they have micro credit and banking, the rule of law, human rights, basic healthcare, and competitive economic practices.
And fifth, we have to keep Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. The Iranians’ ambition to develop nuclear weaponry is clear: they have a virtually inexhaustible supply of clean natural gas for energy, they have refused Russia’s offer to supply nuclear fuel for their power. Obviously, their nuclear ambition has nothing to do with clean energy.
President Ahmadinejad has gone beyond the boundary of outrage, beginning with his calculated desecration of history. His purpose is not only to deny the Holocaust; it is to deny Israel. He is doing what another evil man did before him: conditioning minds to acquiesce to the elimination of a people.