Our government has a responsibility to our brave men and women fighting overseas, and that means adequately preparing our troops and caring for our veterans. But it also means not putting them in harm's way unless absolutely necessary.
For the sake of our nation's security, the U.S. must engage in a balanced foreign policy that gives prominence to diplomacy and development -- as well as defense. By doing this, we can help prevent conflicts before they start, restore America's image in the international community, and rebuild relations with our friends and allies around the world.
Our presence in Iraq diverted our resources from more serious threats in Afghanistan and elsewhere, while lowering our respect around the world. I support the Obama Administration's plan to bring a responsible end to the war in Iraq. Now we must reevaluate our mission in Afghanistan to ensure we have a clear mission and an exit strategy -- taking into consideation security, governance, and economic development as well as the pivotal role Pakistan plays in the stability of the region.
The United States must also be an advocate for human rights at home and abroad. America's position of prominence on the world stage is historically unique and retaining our international presence depends on a return to diplomacy and responsibly responding to the complex issues that face the world.