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Rep. Mike Gallagher: Syria strike 'sends the right signal'

U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-8th District, speaks during an interview on Good Day Wisconsin April 11, 2017. (WLUK image)

ASHWAUBENON (WLUK) -- Rep. Mike Gallagher joined Good Day Wisconsin Tuesday morning.

He discussed several issues with FOX 11's Robert Hornacek.

On the air strike in Syria:

I thought a limited, proportional, yet decisive strike sent the right signal. It sent the signal to (Syrian President Bashar al Assad) that he can't use chemical weapons with impunity, that he can expect a strong U.S. response if he does. It sent a signal to the Russians that we don't support their activities in Syria and their support of a murderous regime in Syria and also across the Middle East. And I think it sent the signal to the entire world that America will back up its red lines, that if you cross us you can expect a response, and that America will back up its allies.
That being said, it was just a first step, and it creates a broader conversation about what is our comprehensive approach to Syria, as well as what is our broader, comprehensive approach to the Middle East?

On relations between the U.S. and Russia:

I think it's really important that we understand who (Russian President Vladimir Putin) is. He's the thug, he's the head of an autocratic petrol state in Russia who uses an adventurous foreign policy to justify his lack of an economic plan and justify his repression of the Russian people.
He's an adversary, and we need to treat him as such. That doesn't mean we can't talk and look for areas to cooperate if we must, but we must do so with a clear-eyed assessment of who he is, and above all, we must have the courage to back up our allies and our commitments on the world stage, and that requires us also to rebuild the American military, which will send a signal not only to Putin, but to (Chinese President Xi Jinping) and every two-bit tyrant or terrorist group that seeks to challenge us.

On defense spending:

I know that we do waste a lot of money on a lot of things, and the Pentagon doesn't get a pass on that, but a strong military is a bargain compared to a weak one that invites our adversaries to test us and drags us unto unnecessary wars. In other words, a military that allows us to solve problems before they devolve into major crises and guarantees a more peaceful world order is a good investment in our own security so that we don't have to fight more costly wars over the long term.

On funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which has been targeted for cuts under President Donald Trump's proposed budget:

For $300 million, that's a significant sum of money. Well, it supports $1.4 billion a year in what we get in terms of our own economy in Wisconsin from commerce related to the Great Lakes -- Lake Michigan, Lake Superior -- so I think it's a sound investment. It's also sort of a shared responsibility between states, where the federal government does have a role to play.

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