Our first president, George Washington, observed in his first annual message to Congress that "to be prepared for war is one of the effectual means of preserving peace." It was a lesson many of the generations to follow would not learn easily.
At the end of the "American Century" just past, the world found that the democratic way of life is not free; it has been endangered first by imperialism, then fascism and finally, communism. More than 100 million lives were lost to war and civil strife. On many occasions, we were unprepared for war.
At the end of the last century, the United States emerged as a global military power without peer. Will it remain so? Despite lessons of history, there are many in our country who still suffer the delusion that a strong defense and willingness to go to war are wrong and not in our best interest.