Columns

A Better Way: Part II

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Washington, June 24, 2016 | comments
Last week’s bulletin was the first in a six week series, called A Better Way, focusing on bold policy solutions to get our nation back on track. Following on last week’s discussion of poverty, this week’s focus is all about national security – a topic which is frequently brought up to me as I travel around the district. What I hear from you is the need to keep America strong in an ever-changing worldwide landscape that includes multiple adversaries around the globe.
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Last week’s bulletin was the first in a six week series, called A Better Way, focusing on bold policy solutions to get our nation back on track. Following on last week’s discussion of poverty, this week’s focus is all about national security – a topic which is frequently brought up to me as I travel around the district. What I hear from you is the need to keep America strong in an ever-changing worldwide landscape that includes multiple adversaries around the globe.

I understand and I agree. We must create a better way and protect the American people by developing an overarching vision for national security. This blueprint should be designed for a stronger America – one that can confront the foreign and domestic threats of the 21st Century. In order to achieve this, we must focus on four policy goals: defeat the terrorists; protect the homeland; defend freedom and advance America’s interests abroad; and renew our national security tools.

After the terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, and Orlando, Americans are right to be worried about ISIS operatives plotting further attacks. We desperately need a strategy to defeat ISIS and we clearly need new, innovative approaches to confront and defeat the scourge of radical Islamic extremism. ISIS has proven to be particularly adept at using social media to promote its propaganda. One new approach that should be on the table is to harness the persuasive power of testimonials from former extremists. These former extremists have witnessed the cruelty perpetrated by terrorist groups first hand – and have rejected it. For example, a young man from the United States who defected from ISIS was picked up by Kurdish forces in Iraq and he said joining the terrorist group was a mistake, “I found it very, very hard to live here…ISIS fighters don’t represent the religion…I don’t see them as good Muslims.” Using such testimonials is a vital aspect of countering the hateful messaging that terrorist groups promulgate in order to convince American individuals to carry out their heinous acts.

Restoring America’s role as a global leader includes reassuring our friends and allies around the world that we will not prioritize deals with anti-American regimes like Iran that are detrimental to long-term allies, such as Isreal.

We also must take a hard look inside of our country and fix the problematic issues inside the border. We cannot afford to wait any longer to secure the border and enforce immigration laws by putting in place robust defenses to stop unlawful entry and developing the means to detain and remove criminal aliens within the United States.

Here in America, we must bring together the brightest minds from the technology sector, computer science, privacy, and law enforcement. With all of these sectors working together, we can explore the connection of technology and security and develop recommendations for protecting Americans’ privacy and public safety.

Finally, we must ensure that all of our men and women in uniform have the pay, benefits, resources and equipment they need to do their jobs and return home safely. And, once they return home, we need to make sure that the Department of Veterans Affairs is upholding our commitment to our heroes by providing high-quality care in a convenient and efficient manner.

This plan is to show the country that House Republicans have developed a better way to strengthen our economy and our military to show the world that freedom works. We need a strong America to protect our national interests at home and abroad, and a confident America to protect peace around the world.

If you would like any additional information about this installment of the Better Way series, please contact any of my offices for further information. 

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