The failed policies of the Bush Administration stretched our U.S. military to its breaking point and significantly damaged America's readiness to confront new security challenges. America must invest in our modern military to maintain our conventional advantage while also increasing our capacity to defeat the emerging threats of tomorrow. But we must also balance the different elements of national power, including strong diplomacy, so that the entire burden of keeping America safe does not fall on our military alone.
We must rebuild and repair alliances strained during the Bush presidency. With strong partnerships, we can solve shared security challenges and prevent failed states through economic development and support. Together, we can stand firm against the threats of terrorism, genocide, and disregard for human rights, just as we have done in the face of dictatorship and tyranny. Through pragmatic and strategic diplomacy, we can not only strengthen old partnerships, but also forge new alliances to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.
I was proud to support H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which the President signed February 17, 2009. The Recovery Act provides $7.4 billion to the Department of Defense to improve and update military installations, expand homeowners' assistance for military families, and increase health care funding for veterans.
America's fighting men and women, who faced their battles on the battlefield, must be able to count on the full and unwavering support of their government. Congress has a duty to protect and provide for all those who serve, and I pledge to honor their sacrifices and their dedication.
Now, with the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress, we finally have the opportunity to move our defense and military policies past the broken and destructive policies of the last eight years. We must ensure that our men and women in uniform are given the resources they need and that our country has the clear direction it needs to keep America safe and achieve our objectives in the world.