America is built on three unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. While we strive to be a leader among nations, unfortunately America has enemies – domestic and abroad – who would seek to deprive us of these rights. I will fight for a strong national security strategy to protect the rights of all Americans at home and abroad and to support our critical allies around the world.
Diplomacy Our first line of security must be diplomacy. As Secretary of Defense General James Mattis said, “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.” The single most important thing that we can do for our national security is to fund, train, and deploy a strong diplomatic corps to advance America’s interests abroad in cooperation with our allies. The State Department is a key part of our national strategy, and must be front and center in all national security efforts.
Military Beyond diplomacy, national security has two pressing fronts: military and cyber. First, America must support military readiness to combat violent threats that we’re seeing all around the world like missile launches from North Korea, chemical attacks in Syria, car attacks in London and Barcelona, and mass shootings in Paris, San Bernardino, and Orlando.
Military readiness is critical. We need accurate intelligence to find and stop terrorist attacks before they start. We owe our military – the men and women who make a commitment to serve our country in active duty, Reserves, and Guard – strong, tactical leadership to make well-informed decisions about when, where, and under what circumstances we deploy our troops.
In addition to strong leadership, we owe our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines the best equipment to improve their effectiveness and safety during and after their service. For example, I support the smart development of next-generation drone technologies to patrol and defend. As a researcher, I also work with biomedical engineers to develop sensors that can detect concussions immediately in order to get the correct treatment right away and avoid more lasting damage. I will continue to work hard to support our men and women in active duty, Reserves, and Guard during their service and after they come home.
Cybersecurity The second national security front is not on the battlefield, but all around us. We face a real and growing national threat of cyberattack at every level of American life, including military, public works, private enterprise, and individual security. We know that our election systems were hacked in 2016 by people trying to disrupt the very democracy that makes America a great country. Cyberattacks can come in the form of a pop-up window that asks you to sign into your email again, or a text message attachment that looks like it is from a friend at work. Researchers have even found a way to use DNA – the basic ingredients for life – to launch a cyberattack that can take over a computer system. Cyberattacks threaten America every day.
We must modernize our defense against cyberattack. Right now, we still have a Cold War mentality where the U.S. battles a foreign adversary. Cyberattacks from our enemies have moved beyond the Cold War, and we’re not adjusting fast enough to the challenges, threats, and opportunities.
As a security researcher, I know that we need to protect individual privacy while also protecting our national security. I propose a comprehensive national cybersecurity plan that includes education for every American about digital privacy and security so that citizens can protect themselves from attacks to their identity and security. I also support advanced training programs for the best and brightest cybersecurity specialists to work in public and private sectors, including military, intelligence, and counterintelligence agencies, to protect our national interests from cyberattack. Finally, I propose strong cooperation between public and private entities to protect America from cyberattack worldwide.
The bottom line? National security is a priority for America at home and abroad. I support a smart, modern approach for diplomacy, military, and cybersecurity readiness to protect and defend American values.