The safety and security of this nation will always be my highest priority while serving in the House of Representatives. The U.S. continues to face many global challenges and I am confident that with the right policies and resources we can achieve victory and promote global stability.
In August 2010, the last combat brigade exited Iraq leaving behind nearly 50,000 troops serving in an advisory role. While the U.S. is no longer responsible for the primary safety and security of Iraq, the stability of this country and the region are vital to U.S. national security. Iraq has a long road ahead before it will have true political, economic and diplomatic stability, but with the support of the U.S. and the international community it can be achieved.
Last year President Obama also conducted a lengthy policy review resulting in the recommendation that a surge similar to the one in Iraq was necessary to secure Afghanistan. President Obama ordered an additional 30,000 troops be deployed to Afghanistan. It is too early to judge the success of the new strategy, but there are leading indicators that progress is being achieved. It will take time to secure and stabilize the Afghanistan and Pakistan region, but it is necessary. I will continue to support policies giving our Armed Forces and diplomats the tools and resources they need to be successful.
Additionally, as Iran continues to defy international demands to turn over its weapons program, the U.S. must be actively working with all of its allies in the Middle East to contain this threat. I supported legislation that effectively increases the sanctions on Iran and it appears they are having some impact. While no one wants to see another war on the scale of Iraq or Afghanistan, it is vital for the U.S. to work through international organizations and with key allies to contain Iran.
Sadly, the Middle East Peace Initiative has not reached a final settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I encourage all parties involved to work vigorously in order to achieve a lasting peace. It is vital to U.S. national security to have a viable two-state solution with Jews, Muslims and Christians all living in peace as neighbors.