President Theodore Roosevelt is credited with the political proverb “Speak softly and carry a big stick”. This expression characterizes what is sometimes referred to as the “Big Stick Diplomacy”. I think simple logic bears out the accuracy of this ideology. It is difficult to enter into diplomatic negotiations from a position of weakness. Yes, sanctions can be employed, but only up to a point. Ultimately it is who has the larger might and the bigger muscle. In military training, it has long been understood that the military is an instrument of national policy. In our Constitution the foundation to provide for “common defense” is established. I believe that the long-term survival of our Country, our national values, and individual way of life is ultimately dependent on a strong military. There should never be a doubt that when there is a weakness, a stronger force will fill the vacuum. There is a constant push-pull and testing by hungery forces to expand their domain. At first the weaker countries are assimilated and gradually the stronger countries are weakened and threatened. This is not a controversial assertion – history bears this out. The forces at play are varied and gradual. So gradual that it is often difficult to recognize that a change is occurring. We need leaders with strong values and vision, who are willing to be firm against the internal forces which are constantly weakening our military. There are some who say the military want war because that is their business and reason for existence. I say these people are woefully ignorant. I was a warrior – I am a warrior…. And I do not want a war, but I also believe that we must prepare to win any war, at anytime, wherever that might be.