End the "Stop-loss" program of forcing troops to stay in service beyond their expected commitments
Restore the Deployment Policies Under Which the Reserve and Guard Enlisted: America should recommit to the broken promises made to the men and women who serve in the Guard and Reserves. An Obama administration will: • Limit lengthy deployments to one year for every six years • Restore the 24-month limit on cumulative deployment time • End the "Stop-Loss" program of forcing troops to stay in service beyond their expected commitments.
Make National Guard leader a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
"Too often, top-level military decisions, which impact the National Guard, are made without its input. Obama cosponsored legislation to elevate the Chief of the National Guard to the rank of four-star general and make the chief a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military advisory panel to the president. As president, Obama will sign this legislation into law."
Equip troops to respond to new tactics
"Fully Equip Our Troops for the Missions They Face: We must listen to our ground commanders when they tell us what kinds of technology and skills they need to fight most effectively. We cannot repeat the failure to swiftly deploy up-armored vehicles in response to insurgent tactics. We must prioritize getting vitally needed equipment to our Soldiers and Marines before lives are lost."
Include humanitarian international missions in long-term budgeting
"Our military engages in a wide range of humanitarian activities that build friends and allies at the regional and ground level, most remarkably during the response to the tsunami in South and Southeast Asia. This demonstration of American military professionalism and aid won back local hearts in key Muslim states. Yet, such strategic and high pay off programs are presently not included in long-term planning and, when they do occur, actually take away funds from a unit's regular operational budget. The result is that the United States sometimes misses opportunities to build partnerships and trust. The Obama administration will expand such programs, regularizing them into the annual budget so that our efforts to aid allies, and win hearts and minds along the way, are sustainable, rather than ad-hoc."
Strengthen and expand military exchange programs with other countries
Existing U.S. programs of military to military exchanges, joint training, education, and human rights programs must be reoriented from their current Cold War standards to reflect new strategic priorities and ethical standards. Relationships that reassure potential future competitors both of America's goodwill and its strength may help dissuade emerging powers from becoming threats. An Obama administration will also prioritize the strengthening training and working relationships with the next generation of military leaders in allied states in the Muslim and wider developing world, in order to build professionalism and respect for rights and democracy, as well as open and sustain unofficial channels of communication and influence.
Make greater investment in advanced military air technology
"We must adapt and make tradeoffs among systems originally designed for the Cold War and those required for current and future challenges. We need greater investment in advanced technology ranging from the revolutionary, like unmanned aerial vehicles and electronic warfare capabilities, to systems like the C-17 cargo and KC-X air refueling aircraft—which may not be glamorous to politicians, but are the backbone of our future ability to extend global power."
End the abuse of supplemental budgets for war
"End the abuse of the supplemental budgets, where much of the money has been lost, by creating system of oversight for war funds as stringent as in the regular budget."
Increase non-military aid to Afghanistan by $1 billion
Barack Obama would increase U.S. non-military aid to Afghanistan by an additional $1 billion to $3 billion. "This aid would fund reconstruction, police and army training, embassy operations, and local projects including efforts to impact the lives of ordinary Afghans and to give farmers alternatives to growing opium poppies. The aid would also be tied to better performance by the Afghan national government, including anti-corruption initiatives and efforts to extend the rule of law across the country."
Make U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditional on anti-terror efforts
"As president, Barack Obama would condition U.S. military aid to Pakistan on their making progress to close down the training camps, evict foreign fighters, and prevent the Taliban from using Pakistan as a base to strike inside of Afghanistan. ... Obama also will increase aid to Pakistan for development and secular education to counter extremists."
Better integrate efforts of federal agencies with the military through new Mobile Development Teams
"As president, Barack Obama will integrate federal agencies and the military in stabilization and aid efforts. Obama will set up new Mobile Development Teams that bring together personnel from the State Department, Pentagon and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to deploy to regions at risk."
Open "America Houses" in Islamic cities around the globe
"Modeled on the successful program the United States launched in Germany following World War II, America Houses would offer state-of-the-art English-language training programs, discussions, and a wide selection of current periodicals, newspapers, and literature. They would offer free Internet access and moderated programs that promote direct exchange with Americans through the use of modern information technology."
Give a speech at a major Islamic forum in the first 100 days of his administration
"Obama will personally lead diplomacy efforts beginning with a speech at a major Islamic forum in the first 100 days of his administration. He will make clear that we are not at war with Islam, that we will stand with those who are willing to stand up for their future, and that we need their
effort to defeat the prophets of hate and violence."
End the use of torture
"From both a moral standpoint and a practical standpoint, torture is wrong. Barack Obama will end the use torture without exception. He also will eliminate the practice of extreme rendition, where we outsource our torture to other countries."
Allocate Homeland Security funding according to risk
"Direct our precious homeland security dollars according to risk, not as a form of general revenue sharing."
Create a real National Infrastructure Protection Plan
"The federal government's National Asset Database, which is supposed to guide homeland security priorities, lists 77,069 potential U.S. targets including petting zoos and popcorn factories. Experts say this database is relatively useless for any level of homeland security planning. Barack Obama's Department of Homeland Security will develop a meaningful critical infrastructure protection plan across the nation and will work with the private sector to ensure that all real targets are prepared for disasters both natural and man-made."
Increase funding for local emergency planning
"Obama is committed not only to rolling back the funding cuts that have affected first responders, but also to increasing federal resources and logistic support to local emergency planning efforts."
Phase out highly enriched uranium (HEU) from the civil sector
"HEU is not needed for the vast majority of civilian purposes and most reactors using HEU should be converted to operate on lowenriched fuel that cannot be used in nuclear weapons or shut down so that terrorists cannot get their hands on it. With Barack Obama and Joe Biden's leadership, the U.S. will lead the effort to remove HEU from vulnerable research reactor sites around the world, assist in the conversion process, give unneeded facilities incentives to shut down, enhance physical protection measures pending HEU removal, and blend down recovered civil HEU for use as power reactor fuel."
Convene a summit on preventing nuclear terrorism
"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will convene a summit in 2009 (and regularly thereafter) of leaders of Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and other key countries to agree on implementing many of these measures on a global basis."
Seek verifiable reductions in nuclear stockpiles
"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will seek deep, verifiable reductions in all U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons — whether deployed or non-deployed, whether strategic or non-strategic — and work with other nuclear powers to reduce global stockpiles dramatically by the end of an Obama presidency."
Extend monitoring and verification provisions of the START I Treaty
"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will work to secure Russia's agreement to extend essential monitoring and verification provisions of the START I Treaty before it expires in December 2009."
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