In conducting our foreign policy, we must robustly defend our national security. In order to achieve this goal, we must stay on the offensive against Al Qaeda, prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, protect long-term allies such as Israel, and remain committed to global human rights. We cannot sacrifice any of these objectives for the sake of political expediency or short-term economic gain.
The Middle East provides a clear example of this. While our deals with autocrats proved untenable, our alliance with democratic Israel has been rock solid. It must remain so. My visit to Israel strengthened my belief in our shared values of democracy, human rights, and freedom of religion. Continuing to build and bolster our long-standing relationship with the State of Israel can only do more to fortify our own homeland security and protect us from the threat of terrorism. During this election year it is critical that this issue not be hijacked by partisan politics.
The potential of a nuclear-armed Iran poses a credible threat to the United States and the global community, and an existential threat to our ally Israel. We must stop Iran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons, and every option -- including a military option -- must be available to accomplish this goal.
As we bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, we must be sure to remain on the offensive against terrorism. I support the continued use of drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia as a means to gather intelligence and target terrorists. But we must also seek new partnerships and demand more from our NATO allies in combating global terrorism.
I am deeply saddened and repulsed by the daily images of Bashar Al-Assad's slaughtering of his own people in Syria. American leadership is necessary in the face of this human rights crisis, and we must work to force Assad from power. Although doing so may upset some of the other global powers in the short-term, it will place us on the right side of history, a position from which America has always benefited.