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Posted by Randy | February 28, 2014
This week, our carrier fleet was added to the list of programs to be cut from the military’s budget, continuing a troubling trend of applying a lowest-common-denominator approach to national security.

For the past 70 years, aircraft carriers have provided our nation with a powerful tool to project military power and an unrivaled means to demonstrate diplomatic resolve around the world. Given our global requirements, the Navy has frequently said we are an 11-carrier Navy living in a world that demands 15 carriers.

As part of the Defense Department’s budget preview for Fiscal Year 2015, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that the USS George Washington (CVN-73) could be cut next year if sequestration continues, thereby reducing our nation’s fleet from eleven carriers to ten.

Question of the week:  Do you believe that reducing the carrier fleet will leave the United States less capable of meeting national security needs?

( ) Yes. 
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know. 
( ) Other. 

Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | September 19, 2013

On September 18, the uniformed leadership of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps appeared at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee to discuss the impact of sequestration on their services. When I asked our nation’s most senior military officers whether their services could execute our national defense strategy under another year of sequestration, each one of them responded with a resounding “no”. 

The leaders of our military have made it abundantly clear that our men and women in uniform are being put in the position of attempting to defend our nation’s interests with woefully inadequate resources. To all Americans, and particularly those in public office who have sworn to uphold our Constitution, this situation should be simply unacceptable. I will continue working to ensure that no American soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine is ever sent into harm’s way with less than the very best training, equipment, and support this country can provide.  Watch the video of the questioning here.

In addition to my questioning of our service chiefs, I also spoke about the importance of a strong defense industrial base, both for our economy and national security, at an event sponsored by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. As the Department of Defense struggles to adjust during a protracted period of reckless cuts, developing a thoughtful approach to rebalancing our defense portfolio and preserving the vitality of our defense industrial base is essential.  
Posted by Randy | September 05, 2013
Late last Friday afternoon, President Obama sent a letter to Congress stating that he was reducing the pay increase for our nation’s servicemembers to 1%, rather than the 1.8% approved by the House in this year’s annual defense bill. 

This letter to Congress came just one day before the Commander-in-Chief announced that he would seek congressional “authorization for the use of force” in Syria.

At a time when we have troops deployed in the Middle East, and the administration has cut billions of dollars from defense and subjected our military to the devastating impacts of sequestration, I believe it is the wrong course of action for the President to reduce pay for members of the military. I will continue working to ensure that our nation’s heroes receive the compensation they deserve and have rightly earned. 

Question of the week:   Do you believe our men and women in uniform should have their congressionally-required pay raise decreased?   

( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other (leave your comments below).

Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | August 29, 2013

Yesterday, I joined a bipartisan group of 115 Members in sending a letter to President Obama, demanding that he cease any planned use of military force in Syria without congressional authorization, as required by the Constitution of the United States of America.  

I strongly believe that the President is obligated to the American people and to Congress to define the United States’ national interests regarding an intervention in Syria, as well as to define strategic objectives, a plan for the implementation of that strategy, and standards with which to assess the accomplishment of our objectives. I cannot support any action that could potentially lock the United States into a foreign entanglement with no clear objective or readily accessible end goals. We cannot risk losing focus on Iranian threats in the region and we cannot put increased pressure on a military already stretched too thin by this Administration’s reckless defense cuts.
Below, I wanted to share with you a segment from Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” today, where I joined Bill Hemmer to further discuss why America must stay out of Syria. Click here to watch the video.    

 Yesterday, I sent out a poll on whether the United States should use military force to intervene in Syria’s civil war. 83.7% of those who have taken the poll so far answered "No". Vote in the poll, here, or share your opinion with me in the comment section, below.

Posted by Randy | July 09, 2013
On July 3rd, the world watched as Mohammed Morsi was ousted as President of Egypt.  The next day, Adly Mansour was sworn in as the Interim President. 

Following news of the civil unrest in Cairo, discussions here in the United States quickly turned to the role of American foreign aid.  The President and the State Department must now determine the appropriate response and involvement of the United States government, including continuation or suspension of foreign aid.

Question of the week:  In general, what role do you believe U.S. foreign aid should serve? (multiple answer)

( ) Providing humanitarian aid abroad
( ) Protecting U.S. national security interests
( ) Furthering economic development in needy countries
( ) Protecting the interest of our allies, such as Israel
( ) Supporting the development of new open markets for investment
( ) Promoting democratic governance
( ) None, I believe the U.S. should not be providing foreign aid
( ) I don’t know
( ) Other (leave your comments below)

Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | June 20, 2013
I wanted to share with you a recent article in DoD Buzz that discusses the Pentagon’s "pivot to the Asia-Pacific" and ongoing budget uncertainties for our military as a result of sequestration. While many are asking how much risk is “acceptable” or can be “afforded” in our constrained fiscal environment, I staunchly believe that the question we should instead be asking is: “What are the near and long term risks of not fully and properly equipping the U.S. military?”  

The United States faces national security challenges around the world, but because of Washington budget politics we are seeing our ability to respond to these challenges significantly degraded. I refuse to accept that these arbitrary and damaging cuts are the best our Government can do to secure the national defense of the United States.
Posted by Randy | June 14, 2013
Yesterday, I led the charge in defeating an amendment, which would have potentially diminished the capacity of our carrier fleet, as reported by Politico:

Forbes staves off carrier challenge: The House overwhelmingly rejected an amendment that would have reduced the required number of operational aircraft carriers in the Navy from 11 to 10…And Rep. Randy Forbes, chairman of the HASC’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, led the successful charge to defeat the amendment. –Politico 6/13/13

As Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, I see it as my personal duty to defend our Navy from the powers that wish to see it reduced to a second class sea power. Our carrier fleet is a symbol for freedom the world over, providing not only a military deterrent to the enemies of liberty, but also offering humanitarian services in the face of disaster. Whether it’s an attempt at a single carrier, or an effort to dismantle the entire fleet, I am honored to stand with my colleagues who wish to preserve the greatest Navy in the history of the world.

Watch my floor speech to defeat the amendment here:

 PS - See these articles on yesterday’s successful defeat of an amendment to reduce our career fleet:

House Reaffirms 11 Ship Carrier Force – Defense News

House Rejects Plan to Drop Carrier Requirement to 10 – Navy Times

Posted by Randy | June 05, 2013
I wanted to share an article with you that I wrote for The Hill on the need to revitalize American Seapower, as well as additional articles on sexual assault in the military and AirSea Battle.  I wrote on and discussed these topics in anticipation of today’s House Armed Services Committee mark up of the National Defense Authorization Act, as I expect that all of these issues will be at the forefront of today’s debate. 

What other policies and programs do you feel should be prioritized in the annual defense bill, as we prepare for consideration in the House next week?
Posted by Randy | May 30, 2013

I wanted to share an article with you that I recently wrote for Politico, discussing a $4 billion shortfall between what the Navy has actually spent in recent years on shipbuilding and what it will need to spend just to meet its minimal goals in the future.

Filling this shortfall and funding the fleet for the next three decades is a tall order.  What do you think we should do to rise to this challenge? 

Posted by Randy | April 11, 2013
North Korea has been among the most troublesome and persistent problems in U.S. foreign policy since the Cold War.  The United States has never had formal diplomatic relations with North Korea, and negotiations over its nuclear weapons program have been at the forefront of the national security agendas of the past three administrations.   

U.S. interests in North Korea involve critical security, political, and human rights concerns. American troops occupying U.S. military bases in the Pacific are stationed within known striking distance of North Korean missiles. A conflict on the Korean peninsula or the collapse of the government would have severe implications for both the regional and global economy. Negotiations and diplomacy surrounding North Korea's nuclear weapons program necessarily dictate U.S. relations with all the major powers in the region. 

The United States and its allies in the east are now faced with an isolated, authoritarian regime, currently under pressure from transferring power following the death of Kim Jong-il in December 2011. Multilateral Six-Party negotiations (made up of China, Japan, Russia, North Korea, South Korea, and the United States) have previously reached some key agreements on aid to North Korea in exchange for denuclearization; however, problems with implementation have persisted and talks have been suspended since 2008. 

After launching a long-range rocket in December of 2012, North Korea conducted a nuclear test in February 2013, and increased its rhetoric against South Korea and the United States to include the threat of pre-emptive nuclear strikes.  

Leadership in North Korea under Kim Jong-un is unpredictable because so little is known about him.  The United States now faces the challenge of navigating a course toward a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue with a potentially rogue actor.

Question of the week:   What should be the response from the United States to the recent actions taken by North Korea?  

(  )       Push North Korea’s best ally and economic lifeline, China, to pressure North Korea to suspend its dangerous and reckless behavior
(  )       Re-engage North Korea diplomatically and encourage them to return to the Six-Party Talks
(  )       Work with South Korea and other regional allies to build a strong deterrent to contain North Korea
(  )       Strengthen our missile defenses to prevent North Korea from being able to threaten our homeland
(  )       Ignore North Korean provocations and assume that they are not a threat to the U.S. and its allies 
(  )       Actively encourage a regime change in North Korea, with the goal of reunifying the Peninsula under a Democratic government.     
(  )       Other (leave your comments below).
Take the poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here