Issue Position: National Defense
The United States needs a foreign policy that is built on creating American jobs. We must pursue a foreign policy that promotes our democratic values and respect for the rule of law. Our foreign policy should embrace a new realism that builds a Defense Department tuned for 21st Century challenges, places an emphasis on global partnerships, and wisely invests resources into rooting out the conditions that cause instability and terrorism. This is a path not of harsh words, but of hard work.
A new realism starts with not sending our soldiers places they don't belong or spending tax dollars on expensive programs that do not work. Instead, we must prioritize 21st Century threats like terrorism, the global health crisis, loose nuclear materials, and poverty.
To tackle these challenges, the United States must show the way for international institutions like the United Nations and the NATO alliance. By working with the international community, we set the agenda and lead global resources around our interests, so that we do not have to carry the burdens alone. We should encourage international organizations to manage and fund democracy promotion, development, and health programs, so that the United States can focus resources on rebuilding our domestic infrastructure and creating jobs.
Fighting for Soldiers: I support policies that provide full healthcare, employment, and educational opportunities for military service-members. Our veterans have leadership skills and talents that can bolster small business and strengthen our main-street economy. In Congress, I will support a business tax credit for those who hire unemployed and disabled veterans. As we see a spike in returning soldiers coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, I believe that Congress must strengthen the Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service to help connect businesses and veterans looking for work. In the Colorado General Assembly, I am working on legislation to connect the 49,000 unemployed Colorado veterans with job training organizations like Veterans Green Jobs.
Growing Trade-Based Economies: The United States must focus on using our unparalleled global power to grow our economy and restore our place as the hope of those looking for economic opportunity. Encouraging new trading partnerships that treat American workers fairly, bolstering United States manufacturing to sell our products overseas, and balancing the trade deficit are key pillars of creating a jobs-focused foreign policy.
Supporting the Intelligence Community: 21st Century challenges require a real investment into coordinating the United States intelligence community. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, many security failures happen not because we don't have the information, but because our 16 separate intelligence agencies failed to connect the dots. I support legislation that would fully equip the Director of National Intelligence to a) eliminate agency overlap, b) increase communication between agencies like the FBI and CIA, and c) set a clear and unified mission.
Afghanistan: Our top priority must be preventing Al Qaeda from regaining a foothold in Afghanistan, which can be accomplished with a much smaller force footprint. I support a responsible redeployment of the majority of our military out of Afghanistan, while encouraging the international community to support Afghan institutions and security forces.
Israel: A path to peace in Israel must involve a two-state solution while not compromising the security of Israel. Negotiations on issues must be facilitated by the United States, but any agreement will not hold without the buy-in from parties on the ground. The first step to build trust between the two sides is a freeze on Israeli settlement building and Palestinian condemnation of violence and recognition of Israel's right to exist.
Arms Control and Non-Proliferation: Keeping nuclear materials and weapons out of the hands of rogue states and terrorists must be a top priority. To this end, I support working with Russia to reduce the production of nuclear warheads and a foreign policy that puts priority on securing nuclear sites throughout the world. Iran cannot be permitted to gain access to nuclear weapons and I support tough multilateral sanctions on the regime until it abandons its nuclear enrichment program. It is also imperative that the United States be a responsible world leader by refusing to give weapons to dictators and thugs around the world. In Congress, I will push for a law that prohibits arms transfers to countries that use those weapons against their own citizens.
Veterans: I marvel at the sacrifices that our military personnel and their families make so that our country can be safe and enjoy the benefits of freedom. That is why I started an annual Veteran's Appreciation Breakfast through my local Rotary club. That is also why I will be a fierce advocate for all of our veterans to ensure that they receive the quality health care, education assistance and related services they need to reintegrate into our communities. The decision to build the new VA Hospital in Aurora, Colorado is an excellent example of how we can better serve our veterans. I will also be an advocate for Buckley Air Force Base, expanding its mission and ensuring that it continues to receive strong support.