“They were saying, ‘Disarmament, disarmament.' I said, “Look, there will always be tyrants in the world. There have been throughout history,'” The Oklahoman recounted in an editorial a few days later. If those who want peace don't have weapons, “no one will stop those tyrants,” she said.
She cited the Falklands War, Reagan's air strikes on Libya in 1986 (in retaliation for a terrorist bombing of a West Berlin disco that killed one U.S. soldier and wounded 50 others), and President George H.W. Bush's decision to invade the Persian Gulf and other flare-ups around the world during her tenure as examples of the importance of a strong defense. “At no stage — because of the policies we had followed of keeping a strong defense, and the latest technology — at no stage, when we came to those decisions, did either President Reagan or President Bush or myself have to stop and think, ‘Have we got the right weapons to do it? And the right, trained people? We knew we had. ...”
Twenty years later we've got sequestration, which is forcing haphazard cuts to all government budgets and hitting our military the hardest. The idea was the brainchild of the Obama administration.