There is too little time left in this campaign to go back over all of the ways the incumbent administration has failed our nation's security. What's important now is that you tell veterans and active-duty service members how you would do better. And here's the bottom line: There are millions of Americans who have served in uniform. They and their families can make a big difference in the so-called swing states.
To that end, I proffer a few lines you may want to use in the upcoming debates. Full disclosure here: These aren't my ideas. This is what the brightest and bravest of this generation now in uniform hope to hear from our next president:
--If you make me your commander in chief, I will bow to God Almighty -- but never to a foreign potentate.
--I never will apologize for the blood and treasure our country has sacrificed in offering others the hope of freedom.
--I never will send young Americans to fight in difficult and dangerous places without telling them who our enemy is and without providing them what they need for victory.
--I never will call an act of terrorism "workplace violence."
--I never will abandon America's steadfast allies -- or demand they surrender territory essential to their very survival.
--I will be unequivocal about ensuring that Iran cannot acquire nuclear weapons, and I assure you we will build and deploy ballistic missile defenses to defend our homeland and the American people.
--I never will announce an arbitrary deadline for withdrawing from battle and give advantage to our adversaries.
--I will rebuild our intelligence capabilities and won't tolerate leaks of classified information that puts brave Americans or those who work with us at greater risk.
--I won't beg the Russians -- or anyone else -- for more "space," saying I can be more "flexible" after an election.
--Though I am committed to reducing the size and cost of the federal government, I will insist that Congress provide funds necessary to deter aggression, keep America's military No. 1 in the world and keep faith with all who have served and who now look -- often in vain -- for a good job.
--Trust me; if you elect me as our next president, I never will allow our flag to be defiled with a campaign logo, nor will I ever attempt to balance our budget on the backs of those who defend our country.
Governor, the words above are some of what America's heroes serving far from home hope to hear you say. Please feel free to use any or all of them as your own. We'll be watching the debates from the shadows of the Hindu Kush.
Oliver North is the host of "War Stories" on Fox News Channel, the founder and honorary chairman of Freedom Alliance, and the author of "Heroes Proved." Join Oliver North in Israel by going to http://www.olivernorthisrael.com. To find out more about Oliver North and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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