"Our troops have to know that we are committed to their success."
One of the greatest responsibilities our government has is to provide security for the American people. I believe that we should have a strong national defense second to none. In this post-9/11 world, national security includes both domestic and foreign threats. The breakdown in communications among U.S. intelligence agencies that allowed the attempted Christmas Day bombing to occur is unacceptable and must be corrected. At the same time, we must fight the terrorists abroad rather than at home.
The President's decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan was momentous, and now that the policy has been put in place, it's important that we commit ourselves fully to achieving success. Our troops have to know we are committed to their success, and the Afghan people must have confidence that we are determined to succeed or they will never become effective partners in the effort to defeat terrorists.
Like most Americans, I do not want to see another multi-year escalation of conflict. I'm gravely troubled about the human costs of war, and I'm apprehensive about the economic repercussions a protracted war will have on our country at a time of double-digit unemployment and record federal debt. But in my judgment, we cannot ignore the risks inherent in allowing Afghanistan to become a haven for terrorists. It's my hope that we can bring our troops home safely as soon as possible, but we should bring them home in victory, not defeat.
I'm opposed to trying terrorists in civilian court and I disagree with Attorney General Holder's decision to try 9/11 terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a civilian court rather than in a military tribunal. A military tribunal trial will better protect sensitive national security information.