First and foremost my vote reflected outrage of something not in the bill. After struggling for a year to get into the bill language calling for Pakistan to release Dr. Afridi, that provision was stripped from the final draft of the bill. Dr. Afridi is the Pakistani Doctor who risked his life, and that of his family, to bring to justice Osama bin Laden, the terrorist mastermind of the slaughter of 3,000 Americans on 9-11. He has been languishing in a Pakistani dungeon ever since, abandoned by the United States. We should not be giving Pakistan any military assistance or foreign aid if they continue to hold this American hero. That alone was enough to warrant a no vote.
The NDAA also reflected a commitment to a status quo approach to defense that we the people of the United States can no longer afford. I disagree, for example, that we should again be stationing large contingents of heavy battle tanks, artillery and tens of thousands of military personnel in Europe, nor should we be anxious to involve ourselves in large scale military actions in the far reaches of the planet. The financially sound approach to maintaining our security and the stability of the world is to convince like minded countries, like Japan and India, to shoulder more of the burden themselves. This won’t happen if we just rush ahead to pick up the defense costs for friendly nations all over the world.
It will also require us to shift away from large expensive weapons to quicker, faster, better and cheaper weapons.
For example, we continue to build massively expensive, huge aircraft carriers which can easily be wiped out with today’s long range missiles. America has made advances in weaponry like the rail gun, drones, and the predator, that are far most cost effective in today’s world.
And finally, the NDAA included funds for arming a motley gang called the Free Syrian Army, which includes terrorist who are our enemies. The only folks in that wild part of the world who we should be arming or financing are the Kurds, who have been long time friends of the United States and have earned support from the United States. While we are at it the United States should recognize the Kurdish people as a nation.