The War in Afghanistan
I believe a secure and stable Afghanistan is in the direct national security interests of the United States. We cannot allow Afghanistan to once again become a safe haven for terrorists to plan attacks against America and our allies. Our operations in Afghanistan must disrupt, dismantle, and destroy al-Qaida and other terrorist groups who threaten the U.S.
Success in Afghanistan will require our military and civilian forces to work together to protect the population from attacks by the Taliban and other terrorists, reduce corruption in the government, and train Afghan security forces to provide security over the long-term. We must also work with Pakistan to support their efforts to eliminate terrorist safe havens in the Northwest of their country.
With the right strategy and resources, I believe we can improve our national security by reducing instability in the South Asia region and denying al-Qaida a safe haven where they can plan attacks against us. I will continue to review our strategy to ensure that it brings stability to Afghanistan and keeps our country safe.
Supporting Naval Station Everett & Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
The Second Congressional District is home to two vital military installations, Naval Station Everett and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.
Naval Station Everett is home to over 6,000 sailors and their families. Homeported at the base are two destroyers, three frigates, one aircraft carrier, and two Coast Guard cutters. NS Everett has earned a reputation as "The Sailor's Choice" because of its incredible location, high quality of life, and supportive community. The base is the most modern in the navy and a leader in the Navy's efforts to reduce energy use -- NS Everett's new barracks is the most sustainable building in the Navy as rated by the US Green Building Council.
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, located in Oak Harbor, has been a critical piece of our nation's defense for nearly 70 years. The base is home to the Navy's Electronic Attack Squadrons of EA-6B Prowlers and the new EA-18G Growlers, as well as P-3 Orion Reconnaissance Aircraft. There are over 7,800 active duty sailors and Marines based at NAS Whidbey, and more than 10,000 military retirees in the community.
The Asia-Pacific region will continue to be vital to our economy and national security. Naval bases in Northwest Washington play a crucial role in keeping our country safe and protecting our interests in this crucial region.
Stopping the Spread of Nuclear Weapons
Terrorist groups and states that possess nuclear weapons are a grave threat to our national security. We need to prioritize stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and securing nuclear materials that could be used to harm the United States and our allies. I strongly support an international effort to secure ALL loose nuclear materials in 4 years, and I will work to get the National Nuclear Security Administration the resources it needs to achieve this ambitious goal.
I support ratification of the New START Treaty, which will require the United States and Russia, the two largest nuclear powers in the world, to reduce the number of strategic nuclear warheads and launchers. This will send a strong message to the global community about our commitment to ending proliferation and securing nuclear materials around the world. The New START treaty will also allow the U.S. to maintain a safe and secure nuclear arsenal which will ensure that we protect our national security by maintaining defensive capabilities.
Finally, I oppose efforts to create new nuclear weapons and test them. I have supported efforts to sustain our existing nuclear stockpile rather than building and testing new weapons.
Supporting Service Members and Military Families
We can never fully repay the sacrifices of our women and men in the military. However, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, it is my belief that Congress must provide good pay, appropriate housing, and the equipment needed to protect our forces and our nation.
The Fiscal Year 2011 Defense bill, which I supported, maintains our commitment to supporting our servicemembers and their families by increasing military pay, expanding health care coverage for the children of service members, and increasing the family separation allowance for troops who are deployed away from their families. I will continue to work to ensure that our men and women in uniform get the pay and benefits they deserve.