In Congress, I will uphold our most enduring principles, while protecting America from those who threaten our freedoms. I believe we must be tough and smart not only about today's challenges, such as terrorism and homeland security, but also about emerging threats, such as nuclear proliferation. If we keep our country strong with sensible policies that foster energy independence and economic competitiveness, we will be in a more powerful position to confront whatever national security challenges come our way.
Economic Competitiveness: A stronger, more sustainable economy is critical for national security. A vibrant American economy means more effective American leadership in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. It also translates into stronger relationships with allies and trading partners and greater capacity to address emerging conflicts. We must re-tool our economy for the twenty-first century by reinvesting in R&D, renewable energy, public education, workforce training, job creation, and enhanced access to capital for small businesses. California, despite the current tough times, is still a major economic center, and the Sacramento region should lead the effort to ensure our continued competitiveness.
America's Military: Honor our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, as well as the families that support them. We need to recognize the sacrifices our troops and their families have made for our country and continue to make every day. As a testament to our respect and gratitude, we must ensure that both active service members and veterans have access to the best health care in the world. As a physician, I know the enormous strain multiple deployments can place on our troops' bodies and minds, so we should ensure we meet our obligation by making health care, mental health services, family support programs, and educational opportunities readily available.
Energy Independence: Central to national security and economic prosperity. High oil prices help fund al Qaeda and aid brutal regimes like Iran. By relying on foreign oil, we fund the same extremists our military is fighting. We do not have enough oil in the United States to drill our way out of our dependence on foreign oil. Transitioning to renewable energy will both create jobs and enhance our national security, and I will ensure that Sacramento County is a leader in this essential industry. If you'd like to learn more about this critical issue, please take a moment to read my Energy Plan, available here.
Terrorism: Secure America and destroy terrorist organizations. America leads the world in dismantling terrorist cells and training facilities, and stopping terrorism before it starts. Multilateral cooperation with our allies is a vital tool in disabling global terror infrastructure and financing networks. We will use the full force of our military and intelligence capabilities to defeat the terrorist threat.
Homeland Security: Vigorously protect the United States from terrorism and natural disasters. We must make sure that our intelligence and law enforcement agents have the resources they need to keep us safe from terrorism. American security also means protecting ourselves during natural disasters, such as floods and wild fires. We must continue to engage all levels of government and the private sector in our efforts to prepare for, respond to, and recover from all threats against our citizens.
Nuclear Non-Proliferation: The single greatest security threat to the United States is nuclear terrorism. The United States needs to use its intelligence and military capabilities to make sure al Qaeda does not get its hands on nuclear weapons. Our country must support efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons and technology to ensure that "loose nukes" don't fall into the wrong hands. In the long run, American security is best served in a world free of nuclear weapons, a bipartisan goal supported by both Presidents Reagan and Obama. In the meantime, as long as nuclear weapons remain a reality, the United States will maintain a powerful nuclear deterrent to protect our allies and to discourage other countries from starting a nuclear arms race. While we need to keep all options on the table, the best strategy to deter and contain these threats is a full-scale diplomatic offensive, led by our President, and working in conjunction with our partners around the world.