Vice-Chair Angela Plowhead’s open letter to the Oregon Congressional Delegation

July 17, 2023

As the Senate continues deliberations on the 2023 NDAA, I wanted to share with you a letter I sent last week to Oregon’s Congressional delegation, urging them to make sure that this opportunity to course-correct is not wasted. As a veteran, I am deeply concerned about the Biden Administration’s lack of focus on creating and maintaining a strong national defense. Under our Constitution, Congress has the “power of the purse”, and they have an important role to play in ensuring that our military is strong enough to face the challenges around us, both today and into the future.

An Open Letter to Oregon’s Congressional Delegation
The Honorable Cliff Bentz
The Honorable Earl Blumenauer
The Honorable Suzanne Bonamici
The Honorable Lori Chavez-DeRemer
The Honorable Val Hoyle
Senator Jeff Merkeley
The Honorable Andrea Salinas
Senator Ron Wyden

Dear Sirs and Madams,

As a veteran and former military intelligence analyst, it has been horrifying to witness the actions of the current administration. Starting with the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and then abandoning the very successful efforts made by the previous administration with the Abraham accords, the Biden Administration has left a power vacuum in the Middle East that China has happily stepped in to fill. This has had a destabilizing effect on the Middle East, leaving our longstanding ally Israel in a very precarious position, defending itself against a strengthened and armed Iran.

The ongoing, unfettered flow of foreign nationals flooding across our southern border, many of whom are known terrorists or involved in organized criminal activities, has left American law enforcement woefully unprepared for dealing with the resulting issues and lacking the intelligence support necessary to combat these problems.

National security does not even appear to be an afterthought when dealing with situations such as the Chinese spy balloons floating over the entire continent for days. The administration whipsawed back and forth in its response, from “what balloon?” to “it’s no big deal” to “we can’t do anything about it” to “we shot it down”. Why was this administration unable to take decisive action? Why was our air space allowed to be violated? Why did we only take action after public outrage following an amateur photographer going to the media?

Adding insult to injury, just this week, the President released confidential information on national television about our military’s lack of ammunition, undermining a foreign war effort that billions of American taxpayer dollars have already been invested in. Now he has signed an executive order to activate up to 3000 Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) members, without distinction to job classification. Even after 9/11, IRR activation was only utilized in a very limited and targeted manner. Just to be clear, IRR members could have been discharged from the military up to 4 years previously, meaning they are far from “deployment ready.” Is this desperate move occurring because under the direction of this Commander-in-Chief our Armed Forces have been so completely depleted that there are not enough active duty and regular reserve members to satisfy military readiness?

If our nation has a prayer of salvaging our standing on the world stage and undoing all of the damage to our national security perpetrated by our own President, you must act now! As a member of Oregon’s Congressional delegation, I implore you to step into the gap, to provide the checks and balances ensured by our constitution to shore up our defenses. Please utilize the opportunity you have before you with the National Defense Authorization Act and every other resource at your disposal to secure our borders, ensure we have competent and non-politicized intelligence agencies, and a robust military that is less concerned with social engineering and more concerned with securing American interests at home and abroad. Oregonians have placed their trust in you to oversee the most sacred duty of the government – national defense. Do not let us down. Ensure that every component of the National Defense Authorization Act will lead to increasing our vital national security interest.

Dr. Angela Plowhead
Vice-Chair, Oregon Republican Party

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