Reducing our presence in Afghanistan
I support a gradual withdrawal of active on-the-ground troops while maintaining a commitment to rebuilding the future of the country. Suicide is currently claiming more active military lives than combat is - clearly, our policy is not working for Afghanistan or for the U.S. The war in Afghanistan will have many lasting impacts on Mainers and the nation - veterans are facing terrible effects that last long after the battlefield is quiet. Further, the injuries and loss of life, and the resulting impact on our military and their families and our communities, is staggering.
Respecting our commitment to veterans
Our veterans have earned the best access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities that our country can provide. The problems of war are legacy problems that veterans live with long after a high-profile conflict is over. Additionally, more Guard and Reserve members are seeing combat. Unfortunately, this is all during a time when access to veterans' services is increasingly limited. I am committed to doing my part to ensure that our veterans, who have sacrificed so much, are not left behind.
Providing for national security
I know that in the face of a foreign threat every option must be on the table, beginning with diplomacy, and right through the use of military force. However, we cannot enter into unfunded, costly wars with undefined goals - particularly in the face of the budget crisis.