Issue Report ● Defense and National Security
For Immediate Release: 
May 13, 2011
Contact Info: 

Katie GrantDaniel Reilly, 202-225-3130

Click here to read in pdf.

Democrats Protecting America, Making Real Progress on Our Fight Against Terror

While Republicans took our eye off the real fight in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Democrats have stepped up the fight against terrorists and are getting real results that make Americans safer. The Obama administration has killed or captured hundreds of al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, including the world’s most notorious terrorist and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden. We are disrupting their ability to attack and plot against the U.S. and the recent killing of bin Laden further limits the ability of al Qaeda to organize.

Democrats have also devoted new and more resources to stopping terrorist plots in the U.S. We support a strong approach that uses the full force of our military; intelligence community; the FBI, which has a proven track record of getting useful intelligence; and our criminal justice system. While Republicans attempt to limit the tools in our tool box, Democrats are committed to every resource that will help crack down on terrorism and protect our nation.

Democrats Steadfast in Their Support of the Troops and Intelligence Community

Democrats have strengthened America’s military by putting new and better weapons into the battlefield, and have ensured that our troops have the resources and equipment they need to do their jobs and return home safely, such as protective body armor and mine-resistant vehicles. We also showed our support for our troops by increasing time between deployments.

Democrats have given the U.S. intelligence community, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security the tools and resources they need to keep Americans safe, so that they can disrupt, dismantle, and defeat terrorist groups. This includes increased funding for:

  • Counterintelligence activities and human intelligence collection,
  • Enhanced cyber security efforts,
  • And bolstered aviation, port, and border security.

Not only did the Bush administration send our brave men and women into war without adequate resources, but in 2009 and 2010, Republicans voted against the Defense Authorization Act, the Intelligence Authorization Act, and security-related appropriations bills which provided for these needed investments in our military and intelligence community.

Democrats Working With Our Allies Around the World

Democrats are strengthening our security by working with our allies so that they bear more of our shared security burden in:

  • Afghanistan – Working with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, we are taking on al Qaeda and the Taliban and moving towards a responsible transition of responsibility to Afghan security forces. 
  • Iran – Democrats are actively working to prevent Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. President Obama is the first president ever to enforce sanctions on Iran, after being passed by a Democratic Congress. President Obama was also able to get tough UN sanctions and got the Europeans to cooperate on sanctions even tougher than those passed by the UN Security Council. Canada, Australia, Norway, Japan and South Korea also have imposed sanctions. 
  • And most recently, in Libya – We have assisted international efforts to protect civilians and end the violence by taking a supportive role in the conflict.
Democrats Supporting the Needs of our Veterans

Democrats and the Obama Administration have supported the men and women who sacrifice so much defending our nation by making historic investments in our veterans’ health care:

  • Improving health care benefits, access and treatment,
  • Addressing urgent mental health needs,
  • Expanding and improving services for women veterans and their children and veterans in rural areas,
  • And strengthening VA medical research.

We also passed several other bills to support veterans and their families including: 

  • An updated G.I. Bill so our troops and their family members have access to a quality college education, 
  • Expanded employment opportunities by offering a tax credit to small businesses for hiring returning veterans in the Recovery Act, 
  • And an updated VA Home Loan Program to protect veterans from the threat of foreclosure, increase loan limits, expand eligibility, and prevent veteran homelessness.

Democrats have made real progress on our national security goals and are committed to providing our military and intelligence community with the resources they need to keep America safe.