I led troops during three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. I know the importance of our military strength and the role that America plays as a global leader. We must re-engage our allies and pursue diplomatic solutions that prevent violent conflict. We cannot continue to ignore the threat of election interference and we must protect the integrity of our democracy.
It is essential that the U.S. maintain a strong, capable military prepared to defend American citizens, protect our interests, and maintain peace and order. However, these unending wars cost tens-of-thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. I can remember sitting in a Tactical Operations Center in Iraq and seeing on CNN that all soldiers were coming home. We had the same patrols that day as we did the day before. Nothing changed. It was all political theatre. My classmates are still dying over there to this day.
U.S. foreign policy prospers only when military force is used sparingly and decisively. America has the most powerful military on the planet – which enables us to rely on diplomacy. We need to rebuild the State Department so America can utilize non-military instruments of foreign policy to mend relationships with allies and skillfully resolve tensions with foes, like North Korea and Iran. We also need someone in the Senate with the courage to defend our service members and impose sanctions on Russia, holding them accountable for the bounties they placed on U.S. soldiers.