News For The Ninth
National security is one of the most important issues that I deal with as a member of Congress because it involves protecting Americans against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.
While there are many international hot spots across the globe in rogue nations like North Korea, the Middle East is still the region that confronts us with some of the most difficult national security challenges.
In Afghanistan, our brave men and women continue to fight a fanatical group of religious zealots who seek to destroy all our great country stands for: freedom and liberty. I, like all Americans, hope to see Osama Bin Laden and his cohorts brought to justice for their cowardly acts of terrorism on innocent men, women and children that began in earnest on September 11, 2001.
I believe our generals on the ground, not politicians in Washington, need to make strategic military decisions, such as how many troops are necessary to complete a mission and what kind of equipment they need. And when those requests are made, they certainly need to be supported.
It is also important for all Americans, and particularly Members of Congress, to do all we can to support our military men and women who are serving in harm's way. We need to provide them with the very best equipment and good pay and benefits so that they can do their job, come home safely and be compensated for their efforts.
In Iraq, our military deserves our respect and admiration for bringing freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people, who suffered under the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein. During the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq that began in June and ends in 2011, I will work to make sure our troops have everything they need to do their jobs successfully and return home safely.
There has been over 60 years of conflict in the Middle East, and we all share a desire to see peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. For decades our engagement in the Middle East has helped lead to peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan.
Israel is the oldest democracy in the Middle East and one of our country's closest allies. Israel shares a special relationship with the U.S. We also share another trait with our close friend -- the common threat of terrorism that confronts both of our countries. We must stand side by side in refusing to negotiate with terrorists and those organizations that do not renounce violence or recognize Israel's right to exist.
The best way forward is to work closely together both on areas of agreement and on areas of disagreement. The U.S. must be both a trusted mediator and devoted friend of Israel and remain committed to peace and freedom through the Middle East and the world.