Anthony served 30 years in the United States Army, including tours of duty in Europe during the Cold War and Iraq during the Global War on Terrorism. He understands that we live in a complex and inter-connected world that presents new challenges. From cyber defense to Iranian pursuit of a nuclear weapon, to a newly aggressive Russia, emerging China, and Africa on the move, we must remain united, but agile as a nation in minimizing threats and strengthening our allies. In Congress, Anthony will be committed to a strong national defense that ensures our military has the tools it needs, but also promote the value of diplomacy and understanding our allies and adversaries in creating sound foreign policy and informing his policy choices.
ISIS is perhaps the fastest growing threat to our national security. It operates not only in Iraq and Syria, but consists of an international terrorist network across the Middle East and beyond, as well as an ideological movement of radical jihadism. The United States must target and defeat the entirety of ISIS. I concur with Secretary Clinton that America must lead in the fight against ISIS and that “our goal is not to deter or contain ISIS but to defeat and destroy ISIS.” Our strategy should be to defeat ISIS in Syria, Iraq, and across the Middle East. This involves an air campaign comprising our regional allies, with a no-fly zone over Syria, and with intelligence assets on the ground and local (not U.S.) ground forces trained by U.S. special operations forces to take back ISIS held territory. Our strategy must be to disrupt and dismantle the growing terrorist infrastructure that facilitates the flow of fighters, financing, and propaganda around the world. We can do this by sharing information with and insisting that our allies in the region step up their efforts. Through partnerships with local law enforcement and community leaders, especially with Muslim community leaders, we must identify causes and sources to prevent radicalization and recruitment in the U.S. and abroad. Finally, our strategy must include hardening our defenses and those of our allies against external and homegrown threats. We have made significant progress since 9/11 and need to build on this progress and share our strategies with our allies.
Prevent Iranian Nuclear Weapons
This must be among our most important foreign policy priorities. While we must continue to pursue diplomatic efforts in achieving a comprehensive solution to prevent Iran from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon, it is also vital that we keep all options on the table, including military force, when dealing with the Iranian state to ensure that the Iranian leadership understands the resolve of the international community on this issue. I commend President Obama for making progress on this issue, but any deal with Iran must maintain strong sanctions against Iran until it demonstrates compliance with the deal and must provide a robust inspection and verification program to ensure Iranian compliance.
Promote African Partnership
The United States must elevate Africa as a priority by boosting efforts to prevent humanitarian crises, combat regional security threats, and promote even greater trade and investment. Africa is important to America, even more so today due to the spread of technology, transnational threats, and expanding markets. The continent’s economies have been growing at more than 5% per year in recent years. We can increase trade and investment by entering into new free trade agreements or bilateral investment treaties with African countries, as have Canada, Germany, and China in recent years. I support the reauthorization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act which offers tangible incentives for African countries to continue efforts to open their economies and build free markets. I support President Obama’s Power Africa initiative to bring electricity for the first time to 60 million African households and businesses. Electrification was a foundation for America’s own rise from poverty and energy is among the highest priorities for our African allies. It’s an area where the United States has expertise and can assist without taxpayer expense.
As one of our closest international allies, and as the only democracy in the Middle East, we must ensure that Israel remains strong both politically and economically. American support for Israel at the United Nations has defended the Jewish state from persecution and biased attacks. We must maintain that position. We must also continue Congressional funding for Iron Dome, which has allowed the missile defense program to have a tremendous impact in boosting Israel’s security and making daily life in Israel safer. Iron Dome saves lives, and Anthony is proud that key components of its radar system are made by ELTA Industries that has its North American headquarters in Maryland. Anthony will support continued funding of Iron Dome.
End the Palestinian-Israeli crisis
We must focus efforts to bring the Palestinians and Israelis to the table to negotiate a diplomatic solution between the Israelis and Palestinians directly. Israel has the absolute right to defend herself against terrorist organizations including Hamas. Recent conflict triggered by rocket attacks against Israeli civilians has taken a devastating and tragic toll on Israelis and Palestinians alike. We must do all we can to bring Israelis and Palestinians together to create a lasting peace.
Strengthen our Cyber Defense Capabilities
Our nation is under attack from foreign adversaries like never before. Every day, foreign hackers both working for hostile states and as independent terrorist groups are probing our cyber defenses and all too often gaining entry. The recent, dangerous theft of federal employee data from the Office of Personnel Management – believed to be linked to China – shows that we must do better when it comes to protecting Americans and our infrastructure from online threats. Anthony will strongly support efforts to strengthen our cyber defenses so that in the future we’re prepared to stop even the most sophisticated efforts to attack us through the internet. We can and must protect against cyberattacks while also protecting privacy at home.
Improve Relations with China
Cyberattacks and other threats to our national security by China cannot be tolerated. Yet we should welcome the continuing emergence of China as a world power and not try to “contain” China. We should expand cooperation with China in the areas of economic prosperity, a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue, a reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions, and human rights. As we increase trade and investment, we must insist on greater Chinese integration into the rules-based international economic and trading system to create a level playing field for US companies operating in China’s markets. Our militaries should continue to build mutual understanding and trust, and promote cooperation in UN peacekeeping operations and counterterrorism. We should encourage greater transparency with respect to its military spending and modernization and encourage China to use its military capabilities in a manner conducive to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. As the largest energy consumers, greenhouse gas emitters, and renewable energy producers, cooperation on climate change, energy, and environmental protection must continue to be an important area of focus in the U.S.-China bilateral relationship.
Counter Russian Assertiveness
The conflict in Ukraine is a humanitarian tragedy and an assault on our Democratic ideals. Russia’s destabilizing role in Eastern Europe dangerously raises the risk of conflict spreading through the region. We must maintain strong sanctions against Russia that will keep pressure on Vladimir Putin and Russian political elites to reconsider their course and turn away from their recent aggression. I support President Obama’s commitment to NATO and his pledge to defend every NATO member, regardless of size or location. We can best counter Russian influence by building and maintaining a strong NATO, with military support from all partner countries.