America’s top foreign policy goal must be to defend our citizens and our homeland from foreign threats. Combating terrorism and preventing future terrorist attacks remain national priorities, and we must oppose the failed policies of oppressive regimes like those found in certain countries in South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Governments that empower violent extremists, abuse their own people, or threaten the safety of Americans are of the utmost concern. I have always voted to ensure our armed forces have the resources and training necessary to succeed on the battlefield.
Opposing Threats to the United States and our Allies
I am pleased that our military engagement in Iraq has ended and our presence in Afghanistan is coming to an end. While many challenges remain in Iraq, I am encouraged by the progress seen there and remain hopeful that it will continue to build on the progress that has been made in the past decade. In Afghanistan, our armed forces have a clear and focused goal: stop the ability of the Taliban to provide a safe haven to al Qaeda, and stop al Qaeda’s use of Afghanistan as a base of operations for terrorist activities. I look forward to the day our Servicemen and women return home safely.
In addition to terrorism, there are other threats to our national security, and many come from hostile regimes like Iran. I have supported numerous efforts to impose sanctions against rogue states including Iran, Syria, and North Korea for their illegal weapons programs and widespread human rights abuses. In light of our current financial situation, I also believe we must scrutinize all foreign aid to ensure it is only going to the most deserving causes and nations.
Securing our Borders
We must remain steadfast in enforcing the immigration and border security laws that are already on the books. I also support legislative efforts to strengthen security along our porous borders and restrict the entry of illegal immigrants. I have supported many efforts to fight smuggling and prevent the abuse of our immigration laws, including funding for fence construction and surveillance technology.
Protecting our Electric Grid
On the home front, I have recently worked to pass the Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense Act (GRID Act) in the House of Representatives. In 2007, the Department of Homeland Security performed a test demonstrating possible vulnerabilities in the software controls of electric generators that could allow someone to remotely destroy a generator. The GRID Act addresses these vulnerabilities to the electric grid including cyber attacks or an electromagnetic pulse that could pose a substantial risk of disruption to the bulk-power system. The measure also addresses the potential of terrorists hacking into the control system connected to the electric grid and causing severe physical damage to the equipment.