Foreign affairs are critical to our security. The United States of America is the only remaining global superpower and must lead by example. My time in the military gives me a unique perspective on how we must show that leadership. As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and House Armed Services Committee, I am positioned to ensure our leadership is free of waste and abuse, maintains strong relationships with close allies like Israel, and is appropriate and effective.
Foreign Aid Reform
I am fully committed to reining in the out of control spending in Washington and producing a budget that restores fiscal discipline. According to a recent report published by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2011, our country's annual deficit will reach $1.48 trillion and spending will reach an all time high of $3.7 trillion. This continued borrowing and spending is not a path that our country can continue down, and hurts jobs creation, families, and taxpayers.
I voted to pass H.R. 1 which cut nearly $4 billion in foreign aid. In order to successfully reduce the deficit we must examine all aspects of the federal budget to identify wasteful government spending, including the budgets for our foreign assistance programs. However, we must ensure that the cuts are prudent and do not undermine the long term security needs of the United States.
I am concerned about the ever-increasing instability throughout the Middle East. During this time, the U.S. must remain committed to supporting our greatest ally in the region. I believe that U.S. assistance to Israel is vital to her security, and will do all I can to ensure that Israel maintains her qualitative military advantage.
The Administration must reject any Palestinian government that fails to renounce violence or refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist. President Obama's speech on May, 19, 2011 endorsed a key Palestinian demand that the borders of any future Palestinian state be based on the 1967 lines. I was extremely disappointed with President Obama's statement. The mere suggestion that a two state solution be based on borders prior to the Six-Day War significantly undermines Israel's ability to negotiate a practical and workable peace settlement. Additionally, retreating to the borders of 1967 would create an Israeli state only 8-10 miles wide, significantly inhibiting Israel's ability to defend itself. I will continue to take a strong stance against any action that undermines this critical alliance.
Global War on Terror
Providing for the common defense is one of the federal government's most important responsibilities, and as an active member of the Army Reserve for over 20 years it is a responsibility that I take very seriously. The clear national security objectives in Afghanistan and Iraq require our presence there, and the efforts of coalition forces have resulted in substantial improvements to the security situation in those countries. President Obama announced on June 22, 2011, that he intends to reduce troop levels in Afghanistan by 10,000 by the end of 2011 with a total of 33,000 troops redeploying by the end of 2012. We must ensure that any force reductions are conditions-based, reflect the conditions on the ground, and are supported by our military commanders -- not any specific timeline. We must ensure victory and do not undermine the successes our troops have fought so hard to achieve.
We must ensure our foreign affairs policy is appropriate and effective. I have consistently opposed our actions in Libya because to date there has been no clear national security objective articulated. That is why I introduced H.R. 2259, a bill requiring the President to withdraw our military from operations in Libya and prohibiting defense funds from being spent on operations in Libya unless they are required for U.S. Armed Forces withdrawal. We were already engaged in military operations on two fronts, and Libya opened a third. We cannot afford the troops or taxpayer dollars -- especially without a national security objective. Additionally, President Obama's violation of the War Powers Resolution is concerning. Despite some questions about that resolution, it is the law of the land.