From the persistent threat of terrorism to the proliferation of nuclear weapons to military aggression in Eastern Europe, the U.S. faces no shortage of national security concerns across the globe. We have to meet these challenges head-on, and that means marshaling all elements of our nation’s power to keep Americans safe.
- For a rogue regime like Iran, we need to work with our allies to present a tough and united diplomatic front that refuses to endorse a nuclear-capable Iran. I believe that stand must be bolstered by strong economic sanctions that makes Iran pay a price for its misbehavior, and I strongly supported financial sanctions on Iran that drained the regime’s ability to finance its nuclear weapons program. I also believe that diplomacy and sanctions stand the greatest chance of success when backed by the credible threat of military force, so I believe we must keep all options on the table. Iran must understand the strength and depth of our resolve to stop its drive for nuclear weapons.
- Russia’s occupation of Crimea, its harassment of Eastern Ukraine, on top of its ongoing occupation of parts of Georgia, demonstrate the threat of resurgent Russian nationalism to the rest of Eastern Europe. After traveling to Ukraine and parts of Eastern Europe, I am convinced that we need to make greater energy resources available to our European allies so that Russia cannot hold them hostage. I also believe that as we must work with Europe to enforce economic penalties for Russian aggression. In addition, we must work through NATO, the most successful military alliance in history, to deter Russia from further aggression in the region.
- Violent extremists – especially those in groups like the Islamic State, the Taliban, and various al Qaeda-affiliated organizations – threaten U.S. interests abroad and sometimes attempt to launch attacks in the United States. We must pursue a carefully coordinated strategy with our allies to stabilize the political and economic situation in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria while judiciously applying U.S. military force to eliminate threats when they emerge.
U.S. leadership is critical to keeping the peace and advancing freedom around the world, but to defend our interests successfully, we must have close cooperation with our friends and allies. We have no greater friend than Israel, and the U.S.-Israeli partnership is at the heart of our desire for a peaceful and stable future Middle East. I continue to support a close relationship with Israel, including providing support for the joint development of the Iron Dome missile defense system, which has saved countless Israeli lives and promises to provide technological advancements that will make Americans safer as well.
In addition, we are rediscovering the historic value of the trans-Atlantic partnership. We must work closely with our European partners, particularly through NATO, to ensure Europe remains whole and free. And as Asia becomes increasingly important to global security in the 21st century, the best guarantee of security and stability the in Asia-Pacific region is the cultivation of political, economic and military ties with the democracies of the area. Together, we can preserve the peace and promote prosperity for the benefit of all Americans and other freedom loving people around the world.