Republican Mac Thornberry represents Texas' 13th District in the U.S. House of Representatives where he serves as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
President Trump inherits an increasingly dangerous world and a military that has been severely damaged in recent years. Funding national security, which used to be a bipartisan priority, has become part of the political gamesmanship that so frustrates the American people. Now the new president and the new Congress have a pivotal opportunity to turn things around, and there is much to do.
President Trump has made rebuilding our military strength one of his top priorities. More money is certainly required, but so is reform of the Pentagon and how it does business.
Over the past two years, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees have made defense reform a very high priority. We have put the military retirement and health care systems on a more sustainable footing. We have enacted the most significant organizational changes to the Pentagon since Goldwater-Nichols and have mandated reductions in overhead, in flag officers, and in the number of civil servants. We have passed two rounds of deep acquisition reform designed to get more value for the taxpayer dollar.
Reform will continue to be a major emphasis. We must become more agile in order to keep up with technological advances and with rapidly evolving threats. But reform alone will not repair the damage of the past several years. If the men and women who protect the country are to succeed in the missions they are assigned, we simply must invest more in defense.