As a former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor, I’ve spent my adult life fighting to keep our country safe. I am proud of the role our community plays in our national defense. I’ll always fight for Picatinny Arsenal and the 5,000 critical jobs it supports right here in Morris County.
As a Russian policy officer in the U.S. Navy, I worked to implement our nuclear treaty obligations and joint naval exercises with the Russian Federation. I have sat across the table from the Russians, and know that we need our government to take the threat they pose seriously. That means more funding for cybersecurity and election protection.
I also know first-hand that the most important tool in our national security toolbox is diplomacy. I support a fully-staffed State Department to carry out the hard, necessary work of strategic diplomacy. The cuts to the State Department prevent us from dealing with developing international crises, strengthening partnerships, or applying pressure to bad actors.
We must work hard to contain threats posed by North Korea and Iran. Iran’s despicable human rights record, ballistic missile program, and support for terrorist groups destabilize the Middle East and threaten the security of Israel. However, we cannot monitor Iran’s nuclear program or improve upon the nuclear agreement without a seat at the table. We should also engage in diplomacy with North Korea, but approach the situation with clear eyes. North Korea has broken promises to denuclearize in the past, and unless we extract real concessions, their nuclear program presents a threat. For that reason I support a robust military presence in the region and a comprehensive missile defense program to defend America, our allies, and our troops abroad.
Furthermore, we cannot let up on our fight against ISIS. We must remain vigilant in cutting off ISIS propaganda and recruitment over social media in the United States. And our state and local law enforcement agencies need better resources, training, and coordination to fight domestic terrorism. When it comes to meeting these challenges, we cannot go it alone. Our allies need to share in the funding of these priorities.
The only way the United States will be able to face these challenges is through strengthening our relationships with our traditional allies. This must include Israel. Our partnership with Israel is instrumental to global security and has helped pioneer incredible discoveries that have changed the face of technology, homeland security, medicine, clean energy, and agriculture. In Congress I will work to ensure that our long-standing relationship with Israel remains strong.