Ron Barber

Ross D. Franklin

Question from Martha McSally:

 What personal experience and education equips you to strategically address the significant foreign threats we face, including the murder of our ambassador and three Americans in Libya; the most sophisticated state sponsor of terror, Iran, marching toward obtaining a nuclear weapon; and al-Qaida gaining power again in Iraq? What experience do you have to ensure that our military is right-sized, trained and equipped to defend us from these threats?    

Barber responds:

I grew up in a military family on Davis-Monthan. Our national security is a very personal issue for me. My father was an airman who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. I am inspired every day by the commitment of our men and women in uniform to keep America safe. Their service, combined with prudent decision-making by elected officials, will ensure that the United States remains the strongest nation in the world.

To meet emerging threats and deter future threats, we must keep our military strong and ensure that our strategies match the new conditions we face in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

I am already working on these critical issues as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittees on Emerging Threats/Capabilities and Strategic Forces, and the Homeland Security Committee. I work closely with senior military and law enforcement officials in Southern Arizona and nationally, and with my Military Advisory Council, to assess what needs to be done in Congress to provide the appropriations and policy direction required to meet these threats.

To keep Americans safe and to ensure we continue to be a leader worldwide, we must use all the tools available to us, not force alone. The chaos in the Middle East underscores the importance of building strong alliances, including our support for Israel, and the need to draw on the power of our American values of freedom and democracy.

Our local installations are a key component of our national security. As Congresswoman Giffords' district director and since being elected, I've worked with commanders at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Fort Huachuca and the 162nd Fighter Wing of the Arizona Air National Guard to ensure those installations continue to thrive, and I've worked to improve security along our border so we don't cede one inch of American soil to the drug cartels.

Facing down terrorism and responding to daily changes in the world require significant flexibility. The first place I turn is to our own military community - especially here in Southern Arizona - to know their needs and understand how Congress' decisions affect them.

The force behind our global leadership has always been our shared sacrifice, the strength of our military - fortified by the brave individuals who serve, and the depth of our values. This has made America a leader this century - just as it was in the last.

Ron Barber, the incumbent, is the Democratic candidate in District 2, which includes much of Tucson, plus Vail, Green Valley, Sahuarita and Southeastern Arizona.