Democracy in the Middle East:
The world is seeing major changes in some of the most unstable regions. The United States has a role to play in advancing human rights and restoring our own leadership around the world. Bill's service on the Foreign Affairs Committee enables him to play a key role in moving US interests forward.
US technology is one way that America has played a role in the democratic changes that are taking place in the Middle East. Democratic activists have used the internet to gain following in the country and admiration around the world. The American people, however, were shocked to know that government were also using social media to monitor protests and track down opposition leaders. Even worse, we discovered that companies with presence in the United States were helping these regimes exploit technology and turn innovation into violence.
The Keating plan would require sales of this type of technology to include a human rights end-use agreement. Those who purchase American internet-monitoring technology would be closely watched for how they employ it. It makes no sense at all that we would allow American companies to sell technology to governments that are using it for the very purposes that our country is constantly condemning. That is simply not what American innovation is all about.
Afghanistan and Pakistan:
For the past decade, our lives in this country have been defined by the cowardly and despicable act that occurred on 9/11. In a post-Bin Laden world, we must remember that the threats against our country do not die with the man. Our national security remains of the utmost importance, and we must continue to cultivate critical partnerships in the region in order to protect ourselves from threats beyond our border. Terrorist organizations operating in the region and government regimes that support them represent a real threat to the United States and our allies.
At the same time, our commitment in Afghanistan is not open-ended. We must see more progress from the Afghan government in controlling corruption and improving the security of their country. They must step up in order for the United States to step aside.
Even if we were to see progress in Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda is spreading in places like Somalia and Yemen. While we work to remove Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, we must also work to prevent a terrorist threat from spreading to new and vulnerable places. Bill has been a longtime advocate for a more comprehensive counterterrorism strategy that allows the US military and government to be more nimble so that we can confront these new and emerging threats. It is critical to our national security that we work to help stabilize this region.
Bill has voted for an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, and will work to make sure that our troops come home safely and quickly.
There remains urgency in the world for international humanitarian assistance to peoples in need, and the US is in a position to be a global leader by helping those who are less fortunate help themselves. Following the guiding policies of President John F. Kennedy, who pledged to assist those "across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery," Bill believes that foreign aid has a role to play in opening up global markets to US businesses and boosting our national security by demonstrating global leadership.