Our senior member of Congress says the United States needs to settle on a national security strategy.

West-Central Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton, a Democrat who is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, says America has effectively used a national security plan in the past. Skelton specifically points to the containment strategy employed by President Truman to keep communism from spreading under the influence of the Soviet Union after World War II. It was a strategy reviewed and eventually embraced by President Eisenhower and every president afterward, which helped lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Some strategies proved not to be so wise. Skelton reminds a Jefferson City audience about the United States’ decision to withdraw from the world. The strategy of isolation adopted after World War I effectively took the country out of any position to intervene and, perhaps, prevent World War II.

Skelton complains current strategy is piecemeal as opposed to an overall plan. Skelton has outlined in Jefferson City much of the same points he outlined during a luncheon speech at the Brookings Institute . Skelton says the first priority of the federal government is the protection of the United States homeland and its citizens. Among the seven points outlined by Skelton include that world leadership must be earned, that the Western Hemisphere be secured, that transnational events be kept under control and that military strength be used to reassure friends and deter enemies.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (1:20 MP3)