Maxwell-Gunter could become a cyber-security center
By David Zaslawsky
Rep. Mike Rogers said that Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex are well positioned to become a “center of excellence for cyber security.”
Speaking at a Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Eggs & Issues, the seven-term Republican lawmaker said, “We are about to get much more, much more aggressive in cyber security technology capability. You have a commander who gets it,” he said, referring to Air University President and Commander Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast.
“I think Maxwell-Gunter will become one of the leading if not the leading installation in the country dealing with that threat.”
Rogers, who sits on the Agriculture, Armed Services and Homeland Security committees, said that Congress passed a budget with a $38 billion increase in defense spending. The budget has not been signed by President Obama.
He said that the increase in defense spending was “particularly important given that we have had six years of defense spending cuts and we have gotten to the point where we are hollowing out or already hollowed out our defense infrastructure.”
He warned that even top military officials have said that “we’re past the breaking point. We’ve stopped maintaining. We’ve stopped procuring. Now, we can’t even do basic training and that’s what gets people killed.”
Now that national security has taken the spotlight on the nightly news and in newspapers, according to Rogers, this may be just the turning point in defense spending. “It’s going to be a long, tough slough for us to get back to the position where we should be because we have seen degradation in our military infrastructure.”
Although Rogers said the country is “broke,” the $38 billion increase in defense spending would come from borrowed money. “It doesn’t matter if Social Security is solvent; Medicare is solvent – if you’re dead and there are people that want to kill us. We know it; we see it around the globe; and we’ve got to be prepared to meet that challenge.
“The good news for our nation is that we’re going to start seeing some significant investment in our national security and I think that’s key.”
For Rogers, the country’s most serious threat in the near term is Russia with President Vladimir Putin who “wants to re-establish some semblance of the Soviet Union.” China is the primary concern in the long run because the Chinese “have every intention of being a military superpower.”
On other topics, Rogers said:
Montgomery’s chances “are good” that a group of new F-35 Strike Fighters will be stationed at Dannelly Field for the Air National Guard.
About 35 GOP congressmen “are against everything. It doesn’t matter how practical it is; how important or how essential it is.” He called them “problem children.”
“Compromise is not a dirty word.” He said you have to compromise when you share power with another party. “It’s the way you have to do things if you want to govern and move forward.”
He expects more collaboration in Congress and cited the passage of a bill to fix Medicare’s payments to doctors. There was also bipartisan support for trade bills.
That the Occupational Safety and Health Administration should respond to injuries instead of looking for violations and fining companies before issues can be addressed.
There will not be tax reform this year because Congress and Obama “disagree on what it should look like. We are not even in the same hemisphere.”