America's greatness does not come solely from its military might, but also from its unique role as a force to provide stability and opportunity in the world.
While this ability stems in part from our military, it emanates also from the values we hold that help make other nations "great." WWII was won largely because America won the battle for the hearts and minds of the international community. The Greatest Generation helped rebuild the countries that were ravaged by the war in order to facilitate the growth of healthy, free societies.
Today, the same kind of international development is needed if we are to succeed in fighting terrorism. I saw this firsthand when I deployed to Iraq with the Marines. Our military superiority could not win the battle alone. Instead the combination of a strong military with a robust development program helped pave the way to much more stable country.
This fight does not just need the use of force, it needs the construction of good schools, effective police, and safe communities. Yet there are those in Congress who want to cut funding for international aid. Even though Director Petraeus and former Secretary Gates agree this development is needed, Conservatives in Congress are unwilling to make the investment in America's, and indeed the world's, security.
Our military is eradicating terrorism. International development will make sure it doesn't come back. Congress wants to cut funding for many government programs, but international aid should not and can not be on the chopping block. America can be great again, as long as we remember and act on the values that made us great before.
To see more, check out the Make US Strong Campaign's new ad, GI JOE.