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National Security Work

Mac's Work on National Security 

Mac discusses national security with Wolf Blitzer


Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) has established himself as a leader in national security, an area in which he continues to be given new responsibilities and opportunities to help advance the security of our nation.

Mac Thornberry serves as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee – the first Texan of either party to hold this position. The Armed Services Committee has the responsibility to oversee the Pentagon, all military services, and all Department of Defense agencies, including their budgets and policies. 

Mac believes that protecting our country is the first function of the federal government.  In a time of unprecedented security challenges, he is committed to ensuring that the United States has the military capability and agility to protect the nation and our interests around the world.  His priority as Chairman is to support and provide for the men and women who serve our country.

When it comes to our national defense, Mac is also widely respected as an innovator and strategic thinker. He was one of the first in Congress to recognize the need to confront the threat of terrorism. Six months before the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Mac introduced a bill to create a new Department of Homeland Security, which formed the basis of legislation signed into law by President Bush 20 months later. He has also played a major role in shaping national policy on transformation of the military and strategic nuclear issues. In addition, he is at the forefront of efforts in Congress to protect the country from threats ranging from terrorist attacks to nuclear proliferation.

National security watchers consistently praise Mac’s efforts.  Defense News called Thornberry “a smart hawk who’s not afraid to buck the party line” while DoD Buzz said he is “one of the most consistently thoughtful and effective legislators on the House Armed Services Committee.”  Those covering Capitol Hill agree, with Congressional Quarterly recognizing him as a “serious student of government management.” National Journal has noted Mac is “well-regarded in both parties for his thoughtfulness on security issues,” and identified him as a “Republican to watch,” calling him an E.F. Hutton of Congress (because when he talks about defense and homeland security issues, people— and his colleagues on Capitol Hill— listen). Esquire says he’s “a distinguished thinker on defense issues and foreign affairs” and “an informed, dispassionate expert on national security and intelligence.”

Thornberry has written widely on defense matters and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, CBS, ABC, and C-SPAN to provide congressional insight on homeland and national security issues.

Career Highlights

  • Ranking Member, House Armed Services Committee, 116th Congress
  • Chairman, House Armed Services Committee, 114th and 115th Congress
  • Vice Chairman, House Armed Services Committee, 112th Congress and 113th Congress
  • Chairman, Armed Services Committee’s Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee
  • Top Republican (Ranking Republican), House Permanent Select Committee’s Tactical and Technical Intelligence Subcommittee, 111th Congress
  • Senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee, 111th Congress
  • First Chairman, Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight, where he focused primarily on overseeing the implementation of the reforms contained in the “9/11 Bill,”   and on improving the management of the intelligence community, and issues related to the intelligence community’s response to terrorism, 109th Congress
  • Chairman, Armed Services Committee panel with oversight of the reorganization of the nations’ nuclear weapons complex, 1999-2002
  • Member of the Select Committee on Homeland Security, servings as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Science, and Research and Development
  • Member, U.S. Joint Forces Command, Transformation Advisory Group (TAG) which provides the military with advice on defense and transformation policies and future issues
  • Member of the CSIS Smart Power Commission which issued its report in November 2007 arguing that the nation needs to have the full range of instruments of   natural power and influence in order to accomplish our national policy goals
  • Member, Executive Steering Committee of the Strategic Policy Forum, a group organized by the Office of the Secretary of Defense to conduct war games  and exercises in which Members of Congress and officials from the Executive Branch can participate together to shed light on current and future national security challenges
  • Member of the Council on Foreign Relations

    Related Websites:

    House Armed Services Committee Website

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