Cofer Black

As we build the SPF and deploy it, Governor Romney will take even greater steps to protect our homeland in a strategic and sustained manner. We must recognize that the surest way to stop a terrorist plot is to deprive terrorists of their financing and support overseas, and to stop them from entering our country in the first place. This will demand new U.S. capabilities, stronger global alliances, and integration of our federal actions with international, state, and local efforts.

Governor Romney will also strengthen intelligence gathering and capabilities by eliminating bureaucracy and moving more resources to the field. The Clinton Administration slashed the CIA workforce by 20 percent and undermined recruitment efforts geared at building proper human intelligence gathering. This administration has started to restore the CIA to its pre-Clinton era capabilities, but the introduction of even more layers of bureaucracy have hindered those efforts. It's time to make the gathering of accurate and actionable intelligence a priority, and not an afterthought.

As part of his strategy, Governor Romney will give America's armed forces the support it needs to defeat our enemies – and to convince our would-be enemies that any provocation against the U.S. or its allies would be foolish. The Clinton administration let America's military wither. To maintain a strong military, Governor Romney will add at least 100,000 more troops and commit four percent of our GDP to new equipment, training, and relevant support for our current troops and their families.

And ultimately, America must recognize that its strength is amplified when combined with the strength of other nations. We need to expand alliances such as NATO. We need to build global and regional capacities and networks of law enforcement and intelligence officials to confront Jihadists and other transnational threats.

We need to work with our Middle East allies and the major nations of the developed world to establish a Partnership for Prosperity and Progress to assure that threatened Islamic states have public schools untouched by Islamic radicalists, proper microcredit and banking facilities, the rule of law, human rights, basic health care, and competitive economic policies.

These steps form the blueprint of a strategy for success – a plan that will assure America's security and defeat our enemies. But a plan is only half the battle; the other half is making sure it works. That requires leaders who can recognize changing circumstances, who have a record of effective executive leadership, and who understand the stakes of the war we face. Governor Romney is that kind of leader.

Cofer Black

Cofer Black is a former United States Department of State Coordinator for Counterterrorism. Black also had a distinguished 28-year career in the Directorate of Operations at the Central Intelligence Agency. Cofer Black is the Romney for President Senior Adviser for counterterrorism and national security issues.

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