President Reagan believed "We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression." When Reagan was sworn into office in January 1981, the United States had record inflation, high unemployment and slow growth. It was commonly assumed our military had fallen behind that of our superpower rival, the Soviet Union. So Reagan cut taxes and spending to repair the economy. He rebuilt our military, including our nuclear deterrent. Once the U.S. economy had rebounded and our military had been restored, he presided over the demise of the Soviet Empire and negotiated an end to the Cold War -- all without firing a shot. He likened America to a "shining city on a hill" and restored our nation's self confidence.

Contrast this to President Obama, who also came into office facing a troubled economy. He is expanding government and increasing taxes; and unemployment is climbing. He begrudges America's military superiority, which he acknowledges exists "whether we like it or not." His efforts to extend "the hand of friendship" to the Iranian regime have been rebuffed. His attempts to enlist Chinese and Russian support to halt Iran's nuclear program have so far met with failure. His take as America: "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism, and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."

Which approach do you trust to keep America safe?

Kathleen Troia "K.T." McFarland is a Fox News National Security Analyst and host of FoxNews.com's DefCon 3. She is a Distinguished Adviser to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations. She wrote Secretary of Defense Weinberger’s November 1984 "Principles of War Speech" which laid out the Weinberger Doctrine. Be sure to watch "K.T." and Mike Baker every Monday at 10 a.m. on FoxNews.com's "DefCon3" already one of the Web's most watched national security programs. 

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