Reagan National Defense Forum Summary


The theme of the RNDF 2023 was Peace Through Strength. Each panel discussions had varied emphasis thru topics which still circled back on the ultimate goal of national security.

Most of the panel members reinforced the power of "Peace through Strength"; while some cited various hurdles obstructing the path others chose to lean on citing statistics, protocol, and past success patterns.  Many panel speakers used generalities and not specific dollar amounts in describing funding needs:

  • Settlement of the funding, by Congress, for support of war efforts in Ukraine & Israel
  • Military funds are therefore being diverted to support the war efforts in Ukraine which conversely limits dedicated and earmarked spending:
    • Enlistment marketing
    • Salary and other payroll expenditures
    • Equipment
    • Border protection funds & attention

The value of defending freedom elsewhere was also highlighted:

  • Supporting allies during natural disasters
  • Supporting allies in training and resources

As an alternative to opening the door more for Communist China (PRC) to gain an overt access to food supplies and transportation paths of numerous smaller nations. 

However, while there were those who chose to hint or include comments about our borders being insecure; it was Joseph T. Lonsdale, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of 8VC who used his platform to itemize his own experiences, based on living in Texas, of the critical disruption of security, corruption of staff associated with securing our border, and inadequate follow through and utilization of scoping & surveillance technology. 

RNDF 2023 – Overlooking Monroe? Protecting Our Hemisphere and Homeland - YouTube


Admiral John Aquilino, leader U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said in 2022 that China’s activity in East Asia is part of “the largest military buildup since WWII”. While at RNDF2023 he said his focus is the actions by the PRC against not only the US but the other countries of the Indo-Pacific. He also added that when asked "what keeps you up at night" his response is "I keep OTHER PEOPLE up at night";  not all hinting at being overwhelmed but rather focused on being on the offense.  

The YouTube link, to what was a livestream feed, is continuous for the two venues and each panel discussion is distinguishable with a demarcation between speakers. RNDF Livestream | The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute (

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