Rep. Chris Stewart said one of the most pressing issues in America today is national security.
Stewart, who has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives since January 2013, was invited to discuss the issues of national security at the final Pizza and Politics of the spring semester Wednesday. Students, faculty and staff filled the Gardner Student Center lounge to hear Stewart’s remarks and ask him questions.
“[Stewart] has a lot of experience in international relations and national security,” said Henrie Walton director of the institute of politics. “He’s an asset to the national security community. We were glad to have him and glad to have his insight here.”
Cameron Carlson, a senior integrated studies major from Lehi, thought it was important to hear where the U.S. sits with regard to its national relations and national security.
“I think it was important for students to hear where tensions lie between other countries and us,” Carslon said. “It’s good they know of potential conflicts that may come about and how diplomacy with other countries is currently structured.”
Upon questions about the recent airstrike on a military base in Syria, Stewart said he is concerned with the current situation with regards to our national security, especially with America’s involvement in the Middle East. He gave some recommendations to students about what he felt like they could do to be part of the solution.
“We would much rather avoid going to war,” Stewart said. “We don’t want to fight Russia. We don’t want to fight North Korea. We would much rather deter from doing so.”
Stewart said in order to avoid going to war, America needs to do three things: have the capability to defend itself, be able to communicate it’s capable to defend itself, and have the national will to do so.
“Think of this like a math equation where each aspect is being multiplied by the other aspects,” Stewart said. “If any one of the aspects is zero, the overall result is zero. If this is the case, the country has no ability to deter.”
Stewart encouraged those in attendance to seek out the news to learn what is happening in today’s world.
“If you don’t think it’s a dangerous world, you haven’t read a newspaper for a while,” Stewart said.
Despite the current state of the U.S. involvement in the Middle East, Stewart finished by saying that he is optimistic about the future of the country.
“I believe that we have the national will and capability to be the leaders in the world,” Stewart said. “Because of that, we are going to be able to leave our kids in a better world than what we are living in today.”