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Saturday, July 15, 2017
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Member Briefing
Have you heard the argument that the United States spends more on defense than several other countries combined? The Left likes to uses talking points like this to thwart our progress in building a stronger national defense. The first article below is about an excellent report Heritage experts released this week that debunks the Left's claim. I think you will enjoy reading this report and using its arguments when talking with your friends and relatives about national security.

Last week we heard the disturbing news of North Korea’s latest missile test. Heritage experts have been quick to respond to this growing threat. In fact, my colleague Bruce Klingner was among a U.S. delegation that recently met with North Korean officials in the weeks prior to this test. Hear Bruce’s insights from this meeting and read more about Heritage’s response to the North Korea missile test in the second article.

Also, last week President Trump made his second international trip for the G20 summit. In Poland, he delivered one of his best speeches – even described as “Reaganesque.” Read the president's stirring proclamation to uphold and defend our core Western values and watch his full speech in the third article today.

Also, I want to share with you the news of yet another Heritage employee who has been nominated by President Trump. On Wednesday, my friend and Chief of Staff, Cully Stimson, had his confirmation hearing to be the next General Counsel of the Department of the U.S. Navy. Read about Cully’s impressive background and how this has prepared him to be senior legal counsel to the Secretary of the Navy in the last article.

Lastly, If you like listening to talk radio, you’ll love Heritage’s new podcast “Mass Ave.” Be sure to tune in this Monday as Heritage healthcare expert Bob Moffit discusses the latest healthcare bill that the Senate released yesterday. You can listen to the Mass Ave podcast here >> 

I love hearing from you! Be sure to leave your comments on all the articles and thank you for being a Heritage member. You are making the conservative change you want to see in Washington happen.


Ed Feulner
Heritage experts refute liberal politicization of defense spending

by Kathleen Reynolds

Last Tuesday, Heritage experts Rachel Zissimos and Thomas Spoehr released a monumental report on defense spending that soundly debunks the liberal argument that we spend too much on defense compared with other nations.

The report explains:

Statements such as “the U.S. spends more on defense than the next eight countries combined” evoke an appearance of excess, but give no consideration to the decisions driving defense spending or the factors contributing to costs across national economies. Claims that the U.S. spends too much, as measured against the defense expenditures of other countries, are disingenuous. The security environment in which the U.S. military is expected to operate has grown increasingly complex, and national defense resourcing warrants more than a solitary sentence of discussion.

The experts present a sound case to defeat the leftist rhetoric that downplays the necessity of spending for a strong defense. They argue that we should base funding decisions on national security requirements – not arbitrary comparisons. These comparisons fail to take into account many fundamental differences such as the value of the dollar and what it can buy in different economies. This fact alone delegitimizes dollar-for-dollar comparisons. Additionally, the United States has many unique security needs that are not applicable to other countries. With this perspective, the experts assert that we should not focus on how much we currently spend but how much we need to spend to meet our national security needs. The report concludes:

The U.S. should not strive to achieve military defense parity with other countries, in either cost or capability. Rather, the goal of the U.S. should be military superiority, so that when the nation must fight, it will win—and win decisively.

Read the full report here>>

When Heritage weighs in on an important debate like national security, people listen. Thanks to you, our experts continue to counter the liberals myths and misperceptions about our military and national defense propagated. And they continue to deliver excellent research and sound, conservative policy to those in positions of influence.

What do you think about the Left's characterization of defense spending?

Heritage Experts Respond to North Korea’s ICBM Launch

by Kathleen Reynolds

North Korea’s recent launch of a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a troubling milestone. The rogue regime obviously has no plans of quitting its nuclear program, and is increasingly resistant to diplomatic efforts. Heritage expert Bruce Klingner was among the small U.S. delegation present at the most recent diplomatic negotiations with North Korea, held in Sweden.

In a Washington Post report, Klingner had this to say about the negotiations:

We tried repeatedly to ascertain whether any combination of economic and diplomatic benefits or security reassurances could induce Pyongyang (the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) to comply with its previously negotiated commitments and with U.N. resolutions. The answer was an emphatic, unwavering no….

Our North Korean interlocutors presented a stark choice: “First accept us as a nuclear state, then we are prepared to talk about a peace treaty or fight. We are ready for either.”

Klingner goes on to outline Heritage’s recommendation that the Trump administration should strengthen sanctions and impose new ones to make North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons more difficult.

Read Klingner’s full analysis >>

Watch Klingner’s response to North Korea’s ICBM launch on CNN’s “Ne...

Thanks to you, Heritage experts have been able to impact the public debate on this vital issue. They have quickly responded to news of North Korea’s latest test through dozens appearances on news networks and through publications. This critical national security threat is certainly a top concern for every American and a priority for us as we work with decision-makers to provide key policy insights going forward.

How do you think the U.S. should respond to North Korea’s growing nuclear program?

Trump delivers “Reaganesque” speech in Warsaw

by Kathleen Reynolds

Last Thursday in Warsaw, Poland, President Trump delivered one of the most inspiring and iconic speeches of his presidency to the people of Poland. It was a powerful message of the unity and strength in our shared Western values.

Poland, a strong and loyal NATO ally, was the president’s first stop on his latest international trip. The president addressed the Poles just before attending the G20 Summit in Germany.

In this address, President Trump stated:

"We have to remember that our defense is not just a commitment of money, it is a commitment of will.  Because as the Polish experience reminds us, the defense of the West ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail and be successful and get what you have to have.  The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.  Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost?  Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders?  Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?"

According to Heritage’s leading expert on transatlantic relations, Nile Gardiner, President Trump’s recent trip was a success. He notes that Trump has soundly rejected “the disastrous ‘leading from behind’ approach of his predecessor,” and that during this trip he successfully advanced the following themes:

  • A robust defense of Western civilization, NATO, and the transatlantic alliance,
  • A determination to stand up and defeat those forces that threaten the West,
  • A firm belief in the principles of national sovereignty and self-determination, and
  • A commitment to key bilateral partnerships that advance U.S. interests and strengthen the free world.

Gardiner goes on to describe President Trump’s address:

"His speech in Warsaw’s Krasinski Square on Thursday was by far the best he has given so far on the international stage. Trump’s Warsaw address, which was a powerful defense of Western civilization and the values that underpin it, was one of the most significant foreign policy speeches delivered by a U.S. leader since the days of Ronald Reagan."

Read Gardiner’s full analysis of Trump’s latest international trip ...

Regarding President Trump’s involvement in the actual speechwriting process, a New York Times article reports:

"Mr. Trump labored for hours on the wording in the address — widely praised as one of his most ideologically coherent by the conservative press … The speech had the sledgehammer directness of a Trump campaign address … It was the president himself who inserted the element of defiance, dictating the line “The West will never be broken!” to Mr. Miller, according to a senior White House official involved in the process."

Watch President Trump’s full address >>

What do you think about President Trump’s Warsaw address?

Another Heritage expert nominated by Trump

Last Wednesday, Cully Stimson appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee for his confirmation hearing to be the next General Counsel of the Department of the U.S. Navy.

Stimson is a Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, Manager of the National Security Law Program, and currently the Chief of Staff for Dr. Ed Feulner. A widely recognized expert in national security, homeland security, crime control, drug policy, and immigration, Stimson is regarded as highly qualified for this position. His wealth of experience also notably includes serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs under President George W. Bush, and over two decades of service in the Navy, where he served three tours on active duty as an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) and in the reserves where he holds the rank of Captain.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke introduced Stimson, his friend and former Navy shipmate, at the hearing. Giving Stimson high praise, Zinke said:

Cully Stimson is the epitome of professionalism. He has superb judgment and above all demonstrates a commitment to excellence…I can find no better person to represent the Navy’s interests as General Counsel.

The General Counsel of Navy is the chief legal officer of the Department of the Navy and is the head of the Office of the General Counsel, the second largest civilian law firm in the federal government. In his opening statement Stimson explained the experience he brings to this position:

The national security challenges to our nation span the globe. From non-state actors to rogue states, the threats to our country and our allies are ever-present, ever-changing, and more complex than ever. That holds true for the legal challenges facing the Department of the Navy as it navigates the world of today. Confronting these challenges has been my life’s work. Everything that I have done in my professional life as a prosecutor, national security analyst, strategist, businessman, and military judge has been preparation for this role.

The next step is for the Senate Armed Services Committee to vote to confirm the nomination.

Please join me in congratulating Cully on his nomination as General...
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