Dear Fellow Coloradan,
Last week, I hosted a public forum on emerging threats to U.S. national security. The event -- which was co-hosted by The Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (The CELL) -- featured some of our country's top minds in the field of national security and delved deeply into some of the current and future threats to our homeland.
More than 700 Coloradans attended, and many more watched the live webcast from home. If you were unable to attend or participate online, I encourage you to watch the forum on YouTube and share your input on Facebook or Twitter.
This forum was an exciting opportunity for Coloradans to hear firsthand from key leaders on the national security issues facing our country, but it was also an important venue for our leaders to hear directly from Coloradans. As I said during the forum, no threat can be effectively countered by eroding our right to speak openly or limiting our constitutional freedoms. We must remain mindful of Benjamin Franklin's adage that he who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.
The last decade was characterized by overreach. We spent too much, we overcommitted our military, and we weakened our constitutional protections in the name of security. Moving forward, we must take steps to avoid repeating those same mistakes. We must recognize that our strength as a nation extends far beyond the barrel of a gun.
A successful national security strategy must consider vulnerabilities that range from our nation's dependence on foreign oil to networks and infrastructure that may be subject to attacks from cyberspace -- the next global battlefield. And it must acknowledge that we cannot effectively project strength abroad if we are economically weak at home.
As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Select Committee on Intelligence, I know that one of my most important jobs is anticipating emerging threats and giving our intelligence, law enforcement and military professionals the tools they need to keep America safe. In the post-9/11 world, the United States faces a wide range of evolving threats to our national security, from emerging powers and rogue states to non-state-affiliated extremist groups and cyber-criminals -- to name a few.
Frank discussions about foreign policy, threats to our country, and the role of the United States in the world like the one we had last week will help us all gain insight into how to meet and overcome our nation's challenges. If you were not able to join us, watch the forum online and share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.