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Public Statements

Issue Position: National Security and Diplomacy

Issue Position

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Providing national security is a fundamental duty of the federal government. Secure borders and a well equipped U.S. military are the foundations of our national security. Our country is strengthened as well by maintaining good relationships with other nations, promoting fundamental human rights, and increasing international stability. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee with special responsibilities for the Middle East and Africa and co-founder of the House Nuclear Security Caucus, these complex challenges have been among my top priorities.

We owe an enormous debt of thanks to our brave soldiers and their families for the steady security improvements in Iraq, and must now focus more urgently on the situation in Afghanistan. Over the last several years, Afghanistan has faced a deteriorating security situation and complex governance challenges. Corruption and a lack of long-term security capacity hinder long term stability, which is key to a successful outcome. As I have often said, this is not America's problem alone; the international community of responsible nations must also do its share of the difficult lifting.

Afghanistan has, in effect, become two wars. The first--fought and won--toppled the Taliban regime which gave haven to those who attacked America. This second war is to prevent the collapse of the country into barbarism and chaos, which would increase global security threats. The situation is further complicated by threats emanating from the ungoverned tribal regions within the borders of Pakistan. Although the outcome is not determined, I believe that the right framework has been set in place to increase the probability of success in Afghanistan. The American people deserve to know the unvarnished truth about the situation in Afghanistan and the plans that will minimize casualties, stabilize the country, and bring the main contingent of our troops home quickly. Nebraskans are playing multiple critical roles in combat as well as building agricultural opportunity in the country.

As nuclear technology has spread across the globe, nuclear weapons capability has also spread. The country of Iran is seeking nuclear weapons capability. Should this outcome be achieved, it will be a geo-political game changer in the volatile Middle East. The Iranian leader's incendiary style and apocalyptic rhetoric--and the brutality toward his own countrymen who seek just governmental reform--indicates the seriousness of the situation.

I am also a member of the House Democracy Partnership which seeks to provide technical assistance to other countries which are trying to develop strong governing institutions based upon the principles of self-determination. Many people around the world are seeking better governance capability for the well-being of their societies and the good of their people. They understand America's example.


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