Issue Position: Foreign Policy
LEADING IN THE WORLD WITH OUR VALUES
Kamala Harris's approach to foreign policy is informed by her work as a career prosecutor. We live in a dangerous world and she believes we need to be vigilant about the threats we face. She has tackled some of the biggest challenges we face across the globe -- from dismantling human trafficking rings to taking down transnational criminal organizations that bring guns and drugs across our borders. She's been at the forefront of addressing cyber threats and prosecuting those who try to inflict harm on individuals, businesses, and vital infrastructure. She believes we must do everything we can to protect our nation and our allies from the threats we face around the world -- from terrorism to cyber-attacks to inadequately secured nuclear weapons to global climate change and health threats like Ebola.
But Kamala also believes we must be clear-eyed and smart about how we engage in the world -- America shouldn't always go it alone. After nearly 15 years of war, Americans understand the heavy human and financial toll of war. Kamala staunchly opposed the war in Iraq from the very beginning and believes strongly in the power of smart diplomacy. Our country is strongest when we stand together with our allies and when we rally the world to act instead of simply acting alone.
Kamala also believes that we can't simply lead with our values in the world -- we must hold ourselves to those values here at home too. Our country is rightfully a beacon of justice, equality, and human rights, and we should stand with our allies in advocating for those values everywhere. The world needs America to be a force for good, but other countries will only follow us if we live by the values we preach.
FORGING LASTING PEACE AROUND THE WORLD
Fight Terrorism & Keep Americans Safe: As a career prosecutor, Kamala understands we live in a dangerous world and there are people, groups, and even governments that work to inflict harm on Americans and on our society. Terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda continue to endanger the United States and the entire international community. As Senator, Kamala will support efforts to continue the fight to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIS and al Qaeda, while supporting building of a global coalition to wage this fight. Moreover, Kamala believes that we must counter governments that actively sponsor terrorism. She will be a strong advocate in the Senate for developing strategies to counter efforts by terrorist groups to promote hate and radicalization online.
Reduce Nuclear Threats: Nuclear weapons pose a grave threat to humanity and the global community should make every effort to achieve a nuclear weapon-free world. The proliferation of nuclear materials is alarming, and we know that if these materials fall into the wrong hands, the effects could be catastrophic. Kamala believes we must invest in efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons and address the risks posed by unsecured nuclear materials across the globe. That's just one of the reasons why Kamala supported President Obama's diplomatic effort to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapons program and as Senator will be a strong advocate for nonproliferation.
End Human Trafficking: Kamala has been a national leader in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking networks, which victimize and enslave poor and vulnerable women, girls, and boys. The United States has a moral obligation to combat and end human trafficking at home and abroad. Kamala led a group of state attorneys general to Mexico to strengthen cooperation between the two countries to fight the money laundering that enables human trafficking, and she signed a bilateral accord with Mexico to improve coordination of law enforcement resources to target human traffickers. And in the U.S. Senate, she'll continue that work to disrupt and dismantle human trafficking syndicates and be a voice for their victims.
Empower Women & Girls: At home and abroad, we must stand up for the rights of women and girls. When women and girls are empowered and educated, communities are stronger and more stable and economies prosper and flourish. Investing in the lives of women and girls throughout the world will pay dividends in security and economic development. Kamala believes strongly that America should use its global leadership position to ensure that girls around the world are not denied education, employment, or full participation in civic life simply because of their gender. Both here at home and overseas, we must ensure that women have the ability -- without interference -- to make informed decisions about their own bodies, and we must eliminate gender-based violence in the world. California is leading the nation in pay equity, and as Attorney General, Kamala has fought to preserve and expand women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care. In the Senate, Kamala will continue the fight. Get more details on how Kamala is fighting for civil rights and justice for all.
Take Down Transnational Criminal Organizations: Under Kamala's direction, the California Department of Justice led efforts to take down numerous transnational criminal organizations, seizing thousands of pounds in drugs and illegal weapons and destroying criminal organizations that traffic in human beings. Kamala is a national leader in fighting these gangs, securing agreements between California and other countries to coordinate on prosecutions and law enforcement investigations. She led attorneys general from across the country to Mexico to increase coordination with foreign governments fighting cartels and transnational criminal organizations. In the Senate, she'll fight to ensure federal resources are deployed to take on these real threats to our safety.
Fight Climate Change: Californians know that climate change poses an existential threat to humanity. Combating climate change will require American leadership and global action. Many countries throughout the world are already grappling with the effects of a warmer planet, including rising sea levels, more extreme weather events, and changes in food production that threaten food security. These effects and others are stressors on both developed and developing nations alike, and they can contribute to national and regional instability now and in the future. Kamala believes the U.S. should lead by taking bold action to arrest climate change and head off the instability that will threaten our national security and that of our allies.
PRESENTING AMERICA'S VALUES IN THE WORLD
The Smart Power Of Diplomacy & Rallying The World To Act: So much progress can be achieved and so much pain and suffering avoided by working collaboratively with our friends and allies around the world to find solutions to our most pressing challenges, like global terrorism or climate change. As a career prosecutor and as Attorney General, Kamala has forged local and multilateral coalitions to fight international criminal organizations and dismantle human trafficking rings, while supporting their victims. She's built coalitions to refocus law enforcement on crime prevention, not just reacting to crime and dealing with its aftermath. A robust diplomatic corps and principled engagement throughout the world are necessary prerequisites to a strong, progressive foreign policy that keeps Americans safe at home and promotes our values abroad. We can work together through international organizations to confront regional and global challenges before they spread, whether it's working with our European allies to address the refugee crisis or partnering with our Latin American neighbors to take on transnational criminal organizations. We must strengthen our alliances and build new international coalitions to address our most pressing international challenges. And Kamala believes the United States must maintain the world's strongest military, while recognizing that military action should be a last resort, after all other options are exhausted.
Stand With Israel: Both the United States and Israel are well served by our deep and indispensable friendship and alliance, a relationship fostered by our common values and a desire for peace and stability. Kamala believes that the United States must continue to stand beside Israel in the face of an increasingly volatile Middle East, with the new and emerging threats that Israel faces. The people of the Middle East need a durable peace, and one that protects Israel's security and interests. In the U.S. Senate, Kamala will be a staunch supporter of Israel.
Respond To The Global Refugee Crisis: Kamala believes that we have a moral obligation to responsibly resettle refugees who flee violence and oppression in their own country. That's why as Attorney General she brought together California's top law firms and secured millions of dollars and thousands of hours worth of pro bono legal aid to help the unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America in search of peace and stability in the United States. And now we should not turn our backs on those who are most harmed by ISIS. We don't have to sacrifice our compassion for our national security, and we shouldn't let the violent images from Paris blind us to the images of the child who washed ashore on a Mediterranean beach. Refugees should rightly submit to the most rigorous background checks and screenings possible, and we should prioritize the most vulnerable refugees for admission -- survivors of torture and violence, those with severe medical conditions, and women and children.
STAYING STRONG AT HOME
Provide Our Veterans What They Earned: With more than two million Veterans, California has more Veterans than any other state, and we owe them the support and care they earned while wearing our nation's military uniform. Over the years, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been plagued by scandal and budget crises, resulting in disgraceful levels of service and irresponsible delays in providing medical care and disability benefits. As Attorney General, Kamala formed a working group to fight scams and other predatory conduct uniquely targeting service members, and secured enhanced protections for active-duty and Veteran homeowners during the foreclosure crisis. In the Senate, Kamala will champion a robust VA for our Veterans. She will fight to ensure that when Veterans leave military service, they have the support they need to readjust to civilian life, including proper physical and mental health care. It's unconscionable that 22 Veterans take their own lives each day. Kamala will bring together federal, state, and local government leaders plus Veteran Service Organizations and non-profits to ensure that every Veteran knows what benefits they earned and how to access those benefits. Additional outreach should be directed to our rural, minority, women, and LGBT Veterans who often access VA care and benefits at lower rates than others, especially since the issues facing women and LGBT Veterans are changing with their inclusion in combat roles and the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Kamala will bring her prosecutorial drive to the Senate to help clean up the VA's scandals and make sure no Veteran waits unnecessarily for VA benefits. Kamala will continue her fight against the for-profit colleges that prey on Veterans, sapping their GI benefits and robbing taxpayers. Kamala opposes privatizing Veterans Affairs, and she will join President Obama's fight to reduce and end Veteran homelessness.
Support Those In Uniform & Their Families: Our active duty military service members put their lives on the line to defend our way of life. We owe it to them to ensure they're paid a meaningful wage and their families are supported. Military families relocate, on average, once every three years, resulting in family upheaval. Military spouses have to change employment, and children are moved from school to school. In the Senate, Kamala will fight to bring military pay in line with inflation. She will also be an advocate for job training and placement programs for military spouses. And Kamala will seek ways to support military children, like streamlining the process for enrolling in new schools and working with teachers to keep students on track, and providing military children support services so they can adequately deal with the stress of having a deployed parent.
Support Local Law Enforcement: Kamala has spent her entire career -- including as California's Top Cop -- working with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. She knows that when terrorists strike in America, it's local police, sheriffs, and firefighters who rush to the scene. Local law enforcement, together with the federal government, serve as the backbone of our nation's domestic defense against terrorist attacks. They are this country's first responders in emergencies and the first line of detection and prevention. As Attorney General, Kamala led a team that developed the first statewide mobile application for law enforcement to access criminal justice information, so officers would have more information at their fingertips when they're on patrol. Kamala firmly believes that protecting our national security requires making sure that local law enforcement has the resources they need to detect national security threats and coordinate and cooperate with state and federal agencies.
Protect Against Cyber Attacks: Kamala created the largest e-crime unit in the nation and a privacy enforcement and protection unit within the California Attorney General's office. Together these units help focus law enforcement on crimes committed through the use of technology and the protection of consumer privacy online. Her Department of Justice wrote California's first reports on commercial and government data breaches and conducted trainings for California businesses to help them better secure consumer data. Kamala led a delegation of state attorneys general to Mexico to bolster bilateral collaboration on fighting cybercrime. Cyber attacks can harm not just the privacy of individuals, but also the integrity of our systems and vital infrastructure. Computer hacks and breaches thus pose a real threat to public health, safety, and national security. Increasingly, highly sophisticated criminal organizations and state-sponsored entities -- located as far away as Russia, China, and Eastern Europe -- are responsible for breaches. Kamala has been and will continue to be a national leader in finding smart, effective, and efficient ways to protect ourselves, and our allies, from cyber attacks.