Pentagon (Photo by Newscom)

Most Americans are growing frustrated with Washington’s out of control spending and inability to strengthen our economy. According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans identify federal government debt and terrorism as equal threats to our country. In a Pew Research Center poll, 38 percent of Americans believe that Obama’s economic policies have had no effect so far, while another 29 percent say his policies have made it worse. And according to Rasmussen Reports, a staggering 81 percent of Americans view the size of the national deficit as contributing to our country’s current economic condition. And according to Bloomberg News in just two years, the nation’s debt will exceed the annual gross domestic product (GDP). This has not happened since the 1940s when the country was emerging from the Great Depression and engaged in a world war in two major theaters of operation.

It is no wonder that Americans are voicing their justifiable concerns. As Americans, we have always valued the right to pursue economic freedom and opportunities safeguarded by a strong national defense.

The threat to our economic and individual freedom continues as evidenced by those who do not share our values and dreams – the Christmas bomber, the Times Square bomb plot, and just last week the arrest of two more plotters arrested at JFK Airport on their way to train in Somalia. In addition to terrorism, America faces rising adversaries as well as the unexpected challenges we have always faced in our history. But we have always met those challenges because we could rely on our military to defend us at home and abroad.

To defeat those foreign-supported entities who seek to undermine our way of life and deter potential aggressors who might perceive a weakness in the resolve and capabilities in our nation, America needs to support the soldiers, sailors and airmen who protect us every day, at home and abroad, in combat zones and other operations. We need to provide them with the tools, processes, and platforms to do their job on behalf of all of us. And we want our allies to know that they will have a dependable partner.

Simply decreasing the defense budget doesn’t accomplish those goals. The Heritage Foundation has a long history of advocacy in reforming our defense to ensure that it remains the world’s predominant force. These have included promoting advanced technologies, improving programs, and identifying inefficiencies within the system to pay for under-funded or under-resourced areas.

Americans understand why we need that national security.