Every day the world becomes more and more unstable. The Middle East is in chaos with Iran using billions in sanctions relief and direct transfer payments from the previous Administration to continue threatening Israel and other American allies. While ISIS has been largely defeated, the Assad regime continues to threaten chemical attacks against civilians, including children. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin continues to challenge American power in the Middle East and Eastern Europe and meddle in U.S. domestic affairs. Closer to home, the Cuban regime actively opposes American interests despite the previous Administration’s unilateral concessions, Venezuela plunges deeper and deeper into crisis as Nicolas Maduro desperately attempts to maintain power in an all but failed state, and Daniel Ortega’s dictatorship in Nicaragua has hit a breaking point that has the potential to set it on a similar path to Venezuela.
In Congress, I’ve been proud to support strong sanctions on rogue regimes and bad actors on the international stage. I’ve also been a leader in supporting policies of engagement with our allies across the world. When the United States shows weakness, bad actors become emboldened and make the world a more dangerous place. While we cannot afford to serve as the world’s police, America must lead with a clear voice, support our allies, and oppose our enemies. As a nation, I believe we need to embrace the concept of smart power, and understand that peace is only achieved through strength.