Reports of Al Qaeda flags flying in Iraq where American soldiers once shed their blood have raised new concerns about the Administration's continued targeting of the Department of Defense budget for spending cuts. Will the U.S. continue to have the military capacity to respond to military threats to America if Washington's commitment to the military continues to wane?
Texas Attorney General and governor candidate Greg Abbott recentlly issued several proposals aimed at protecting the 15 military bases in the Lone Star State when the politicians inside the Beltway decide to make the next round of military cuts and base closings. If elected governor, Abbott said he would enact three proposals to protect Texas troops and bases.
The Wichita Falls, Tex. native said he would establish the Texas Military Preparedness Commission as a separate office within the governor's office and appoint a fulltime, knowledgeable military advisory to coordinate with local and base community leaders to ensure we have a strategic plan for Texas installations.
A second proposal of Abbott's is to ask the legislature for the resources needed to protect military communities.
The third commitment the Texas AG made was to work with community and military base leaders to develop a strategic plan to enhance Texas military facilities, whether it is improving infrastructure, job training or educational opportunities to military families.
The Republican candidate for governor further said, "Military facilities have an immense impact on the Texas economy. Texans are proud to host these installations, and we will work to keep them here. No state offers greater support for the mission of the military, and its servicement and women, than Texas. I will keep it that way."
Readers wanting more information regarding Abbott's proposals may visit Townhall254.GregAbbott.com.
Abbott's actions could help bases all around Texas. One example is Sheppard Air Force Base located in Wichita Falls, a city with a population of 105,000 in North Central Texas. While Sheppard has been thought to be safe because its clear skies provide more days available for pilot training than any other base in America, the economic impact if it was closed would be devastating.
Some Wichita Falls leaders have estimated the closing of SAFB would possibly result in the loss of as many as 30,000 jobs in the area when one includes the military personnel which would be transferred out and the many civilians whose jobs provide support for the base either directly or indirectly.
Abbott's actions would probably increase the odds of the survival of Sheppard and the 14 other bases in Texas when the budget cutters come calling again. In the wake of the sequesters which Congress unwisely enacted, the defense budget has been cut repeatedly.
While it is impossible to tell from which direction the next great threat will come to America's shores it is risky to continue decreasing our military strength on a regular basis when Red China has recently bragged about its new, more powerful navy and Iran is thumbing its nose at the U.S. by continuing its nuclear weapons program. Who knows when the North Korean leader will twist off and decide to send nuclear missiles in our direction?
Abbott's position on preserving bases and troops in Texas sounds like he is on the right side of this discussion.
Abbott seeks to become the first native of Wichita Falls to live in the governor's mansion in Austin. As the top law enforcement official in Texas he has fought in the courts to defend religious liberties, children's rights and enforce the criminal laws.
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