Our federal government's most important obligation is to defend our nation and protect its citizens from harm. Our national security demands a fighting force that is well trained and well equipped, a unified intelligence community, and strong relationships with our global allies.
The U.S. Armed Forces are better prepared and better trained than any in the world. The extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform have enabled us to inflict significant damage on al Qaeda, end our combat operations in Iraq, and begin a responsible transition out of Afghanistan.
Meeting new and growing threats around the world will require not only the resolve of our troops but also a sustained commitment from Congress. To maintain a modern and nimble military, we need to invest in air, land, sea, space and new technologies. We need to improve the oversight of our intelligence agencies and ensure that they do not violate the Constitutional rights of the citizens they serve.
International alliances form an equally critical component of our security strategy. While the U.S. cannot shoulder the cost of peacekeeping or humanitarian efforts on our own, we can shape the global agenda. The UN and other international organizations can and should play an important role in stemming strife among failed and fragile states. Strengthening relations with NATO and other allies will also help us counter the risks posed by non-state actors and by rogue states such as North Korea.
The world's democracies share an interest in keeping nuclear weapons and materials from falling into the wrong hands. We must work together to prevent tyrants and terrorists from acquiring weapons of any kind -- weapons such actors often use against their own people, the United States, and our allies.
A nuclearized Iran would pose a particularly grave threat, endangering the security of the Middle East as well as the survival of the State of Israel, our closest ally in the region. We can best advance our own security interests and the stability of the region by preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, preserving our historic bond with Israel, and supporting a peaceful, two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.