Ron Paul and National Defense

Third Edition 


Michael T. Griffith, 2007


It’s time to put to rest the myth that Ron Paul is weak on national defense and that he would endanger America if elected.  I will list some facts about Ron Paul and national defense, and then I will provide links to numerous articles so that people can read what Dr. Paul has said on this subject in his own words.


First, some facts about Ron Paul on national defense.  These facts are just some of the things that could be said about Ron Paul and national defense.  Those who want a more in-depth view of where Ron Paul stands on national defense issues are encouraged to read the links in the second part of this article.  The Ron Paul quotes in the following points are taken from some of the linked articles.


* All conservatives agree that border security is a critical component of national defense.  Nobody is tougher than Ron Paul when it comes to border security.  His position is nearly identical to that of border-security hawks like Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter.  In fact, Congressman Paul has called for ending immigration from countries that sponsor or aid terrorists (see below).


* A crucial part of national security is protecting our national sovereignty.  Unlike the other candidates, Ron Paul has repeatedly talked about the threats to our sovereignty posed by the UN, by regional trade agreements, and by attempts to make “international law” superior to American law.  No candidate would be more aggressive in protecting our national sovereignty than Congressman Paul.


* Ron Paul has proposed the following measures as part of an effective counter-terrorism strategy:


(1) Do not allow people from countries that are sponsoring or aiding terrorists to enter the U.S., not even on Student Visas.  Says Dr. Paul, “Common sense tells us that we should not currently be admitting aliens from nations that sponsor or harbor terrorists.” 


(2) Abolish all regulations that prevent or hinder our intelligence agencies from working together and sharing information.


(3) Treat terrorist attempts and conspiracies as harshly as completed acts, and allow the death penalty in more terrorist cases.  Says Dr. Paul, “The federal statute of limitations for terrorist offenses should be eliminated, so that suspects can never breathe easy even 10 or 20 years from now. Jail sentences and penalties should be increased, and the death penalty should be possible for many offenses. Terrorist attempts and conspiracies should be treated as harshly as completed acts.”


(4) End all legal preferences for terrorist suspects.


(5) Arm all airline pilots.


(6) Use letters of marque to encourage third parties to capture or kill terrorists.  Says Dr. Paul, “Congress can issue letters of marque against terrorists and their property that authorize the President to name private sources who can capture or kill our enemies. This method works in conjunction with our military efforts, creating an incentive for people on the ground close to Bin Laden to kill or capture him and his associates. Letters of marque are especially suited to the current war on terrorism, which will be fought against individuals who can melt into the civilian population or hide in remote areas.  (See below for more on this approach.)


* Ron Paul voted for the authorization to use force in Afghanistan.


* In a televised interview with Neal Cavuto on Fox News, Dr. Paul said he would launch a preemptive attack to prevent an imminent attack on the U.S.


* Ron Paul has introduced legislation, the “Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001,” to give the President more tools to pursue Bin Laden and other terrorists.  Dr. Paul's bill would allow Congress to authorize the President to specifically target Bin Laden and his associates using non-government armed forces. Since it is nearly impossible for U.S. intelligence teams to get close to Bin Laden, the marque and reprisal approach creates an incentive for people in Afghanistan and elsewhere to turn him over to the U.S.  Said Dr. Paul, "Once letters of marque and reprisal are issued, every terrorist is essentially a marked man.  Congress should issue such letters and give the President another weapon to supplement our military strikes."


* Ron Paul condemned the fact that when terrorists attacked the U.S.S. Cole, the sailors on guard had weapons that weren’t loaded and weren’t allowed to fire at the enemy anyway.  Said Congressman. Paul, “Our sentries on duty had rifles without bullets and were prohibited from firing on any enemy targets. This policy is absurd if not insane. “


* Ron Paul has been a champion for the funding of veterans’ programs.  No one has a better record in Congress when it comes to ensuring that our veterans’ programs are properly funded.  The Disabled Veterans of America have given Congressman Paul outstanding ratings for his support of veterans’ programs.  He has called for us to “honor veterans with a better budget.”  He adds, “We should understand that veterans programs, unlike so many federal programs, are constitutional. The Constitution specifically provides for Congress to fund armed forces and provide national defense. Congress and the nation accordingly have a constitutional obligation to keep the promises made to those who provide that defense. This is why I support increased funding for veterans, while opposing the bloated spending bills that fund corporate and social welfare, pork favoritism, and special interests at the expense of those veterans.”


* Ron Paul supported concurrent receipt for disabled veterans receiving military pensions.  For decades, a retired veteran’s VA disability payment was counted against his military pension.  Ron Paul was among those who strongly supported repealing this unfair provision.


* Ron Paul has repeatedly called for the Bush administration to refocus the military’s effort on getting Bin Laden and his supporters.  For example, Congressman Paul has said, “We seem to have forgotten that our primary objective in the war on terror is to capture or kill bin Laden and his henchmen. One year ago, the desire for retribution against bin Laden was tangible. President Bush referred to finding him ‘dead or alive.’ And while the hunger for vengeance was understandable, the practical need to destroy al Qaeda before it mounted another terror attack was urgent. Yet we have allowed the passage of time and the false specter of an Iraq threat to distract us from our original purpose.”


* Ron Paul has proposed exempting all military personnel from income taxes during time of war.  He believes that our soldiers should not be paying income taxes while they and their families are sacrificing so heavily from multiple deployments and/or from having to do extra work to make up for those who have been deployed overseas.


* Ron Paul wants to end our involvement in Iraq.  Bringing our troops home from Iraq would greatly enhance our military’s readiness and morale.  Our troops have done all we could reasonably ask them to do: They toppled Saddam and enabled the Iraqi people to form a constitution and to elect a government of their choosing.  Leaving our troops in the middle of the ongoing civil war in Iraq is unwise and unnecessary.  Everyone admits that most of the violence in Iraq is from sectarian fighting, not from Al Qaeda attacks.  The Shiite government of Iraq is nearly as oppressive and corrupt as the regime in Syria.  The Shiites in power have ignored the Iraqi Constitution, which calls for a diffusion of power and a federalist approach.  Iraqi government officials who have tried to expose government corruption have been killed, or have had to seek U.S. protection, or have fled the country.  Last year the Iraqi parliament voted unanimously to condemn Israel and to praise the terrorist group Hezbollah.


* Ron Paul also wants to end our involvement in Afghanistan.  As they’ve done in Iraq, our troops have done all we could fairly ask of them: They toppled the Taliban and enabled the Afghani people to form a constitution and to elect a government of their choosing.  But, as the Iraq Study Group noted in its report, the situation in Afghanistan is very bad.  The Afghani government is harsh and corrupt, and too many of the Afghani people are more loyal to their tribe than to anyone else and are also hostile to our troops.  The British and then the Soviets found it impossible to maintain control in Afghanistan.  The Soviets were unable to do so, even though they had many more troops than we have in Afghanistan and even though they were willing to use far more brutal methods than we will use.  We need to realize that we can’t always impose our will on an entire country.  Iraq and Afghanistan are nothing like Germany and Japan were after World War II.


* Ronald Reagan praised Ron Paul for being strong on national defense.  Said Reagan, "Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for our country."


And now links to some articles and speeches on Ron Paul and national defense, most of them by Ron Paul himself:


Ron Paul and a CIA counter-terrorism expert answer Rudy Giuliani’s false attacks on Dr. Paul’s statements about 9/11,2933,274174,00.html,2933,274174,00.html