Standing up for Sound Foreign Policy, Ending the War in Afghanistan and Supporting all of our Veterans
America has always been a beacon of democracy and freedom, but we are also rightly regarded as the strongest nation in the world. As we move into the 21st century, America must maintain its commitment to having the best trained and best equipped military in the world - but we must also be disciplined in our restraint to use it. For the past four years, President Obama and Secretary Clinton have rightly elevated the role of diplomacy to ensure our nation's standing and security by forging new partnerships around the world. President Obama kept his promise to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible conclusion, but I believe that it is also time to end the war in Afghanistan. After a decade at war, our nation has had a dramatic increase in the number of new veterans. To honor their service and their sacrifice, we have a moral obligation to provide the best medical care and support services to all of America's veterans, both new and old.
Here are some of the key policies I'm fighting for:
Ending the War in Afghanistan: President Obama took bold and decisive action to kill Osama bin Laden and thanks to America's Navy SEALS, he no longer poses a threat to America. After more than a decade of war in Afghanistan, I believe that we must make it a priority to move up the timeline to end our combat mission by the end of 2013, a year earlier than previously announced. The brave men and women of America's armed forces have done everything we've asked of them, now it's time to bring them home.
Keeping our promise to America's veterans: We must honor the service and sacrifice of all of our nation's veterans by providing them with the support they earned. This means increasing medical care to the VA, including treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It also means funding veteran's job training programs to help them transition into America's workforce. As the son of a World War II veteran and a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, I am committed to supporting our military, our veterans and their families.
Advocating for a smaller diplomatic footprint in Iraq: In 2011 President Obama ended the war in Iraq and transitioned our presence from a military to a diplomatic mission. Today, Saddam Hussein is gone and there are no American combat troops in that country. To help reduce the national debt, I support reducing our diplomatic presence in Iraq.
Peace and Security for Israel and the Middle East
The past year has seen the most significant changes in the Middle East in generations. The Arab Spring is a rare opportunity for democratic change but it has also presented severe risks. After the regime change, Egypt has become a more dangerous country for its Christian minority and a created a less stable border for Israel. Meanwhile, Syrian President al-Assad is committing unthinkable violence against his own citizens and he must be stopped. Above all, Iranian President Ahmadinejad continues to pursue nuclear weapons despite international outrage.
I am committed to supporting peace and security for Israel and the Middle East by:
Strongly supporting severe sanctions against Iran: A nuclear Iran would create even more turmoil in an already unstable region, potentially leading to a regional nuclear arms race and pose an essential threat to our friend and ally Israel. I have co-sponsored and strongly support legislation to implement sanctions to discourage Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Supporting Israel as a bedrock principal of American foreign policy: Israel is our greatest ally in the Middle East and we must stand with them. I will continue to work in Congress to ensure that the US-Israel relationship continues to grow stronger and that it remains non-partisan.
Working to achieve peace across the Middle East: Over the past several years, we have seen too much violence in the Middle East and I'm committed to supporting policies that spread hope, tolerance and more freedom across the region. Many families across the Greater Detroit area have close ties to the Middle East and these times of turmoil and instability is of great concern for many of them. To achieve peace, we must work together to unite all of our communities and strive toward greater cooperation and understanding.