Congressional leaders revealed to DailyMail.com what they believe to the greatest threat currently facing the United States during the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California.
China topped the list, but other bad actors including Iran and Russia are a major concern, as well as the open southern border.
Rep. Ken Calvert, the chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, exclusively revealed to DailyMail.com that China is ‘our biggest threat.’
‘And we need to make sure that we direct our resources and our capabilities toward that threat,’ Calvert, R-Calif., continued.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, referenced the annual Reagan National Defense survey released last week which revealed that 51 percent of Americans think China is the ‘greatest threat to the U.S.’
‘There is no direct kinetic action right now with China militarily,’ she told DailyMail.com, but according to the poll, the ‘global spread of China – whether it is militarily or economically – does concern Americans.’
Rep. Ken Calvert, the chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, exclusively revealed to DailyMail.com that China is ‘our biggest threat’
Ernst told DailyMail.com that China is the top concern
House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said there isn’t a single greatest threat, rather a combination.
‘I think the greatest threat to the United States is the effort of Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and various terrorist groups to work together to push us out – to reduce U.S. influence and try to get us out of out of the Middle East, out of Asia, out of Europe,’ he told DailyMail.com.
The top Democrat explained the threat is the ‘coalition’ among those countries that are attempting to ‘force a new world order.’
He cited Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a top threat that is also worrying other countries, as well as China’s ‘territorial plans’ worldwide.
In addition, Iran is ‘destabilizing’ governments across the Middle East, which is another major concern for the U.S.
Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., similarly responded that there are ‘a number’ of threats.
‘It’s a combination of things,’ she told DailyMail.com. Obviously, when we look at a nation state like China, and the influence that they are gaining militarily and also with commerce. That’s a huge threat to us.’
She said Russia’s ‘belligerence and aggression’ toward Ukraine should be a concern to everyone.
In addition, the United State’s ‘nuclear competitors’ – China and Russia – are her main targets.
‘So my focus is is a lot on those two countries because of the existential threat that they pose to our nation,’ she continued.
Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said that although there are security challenges abroad, the United State’s own southern border is becoming ‘the most imminent’ threat.
‘I still happen to think that the southern border is becoming quickly becoming our number one threat. It’s just too easy to come in. We don’t catch a lot of them. And we already know that it’s having a devastating effect on our society,’ he told DailyMail.com.
But he maintained that the most pressing threat in terms of national defense strategy is ‘clearly China.’
‘China threatens us not just in terms of militarily but economically, socially, culturally. They’re a major threat that we’ve taken our eye off of for a few decades, and now we’re laser focused,’ the senator added.
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute David Trulio told DailyMail.com that China is a top concern.
He referenced the findings from the sixth annual Reagan National Defense survey showing Americans are most concerned about China.
The survey results are a ‘significant contribution into assessing where the American public is on critical issues involving peace through strength,’ said Trulio, who recently led a delegation to Taiwan.
‘And the first takeaway is that Americans firmly support President Reagan’s concept of peace through strength, they support military spending, they support and engaged America around the world they support the U.S. supporting allies and partners be in a in Ukraine or Israel or Taiwan.’
‘So it’s very important to realize that there’s the wisdom of the American people in terms of the fundamental understanding that engaged America and an America that helps those who are willing to fight for their own freedom is is a good thing.’
The five-day trip to Taiwan was focused on examining security issues facing the state primarily due to rising Chinese aggression and to bolster ties between the U.S. and its friend in the Indo-Pacific.
Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said that although there are security challenges abroad, the United State’s own southern border is becoming ‘the most imminent’ threat
Sen. Fischer said Russia’s ‘belligerence and aggression’ toward Ukraine should be a concern to everyone
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke about the rise in security challenges for the U.S. during his keynote remarks.
‘We’re living through challenging times. That includes the major conflicts facing our fellow democracies, Israel and Ukraine; bullying and coercion from an increasingly assertive China; and a worldwide battle between democracy and autocracy,’ he told attendees at the forum.
He added: ‘And these are the times when global security relies on American unity and American strength.’