The brave men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis to safeguard the liberites and freedoms we cherish deserve our full support. Since 9/11, America and our allies have realized a number of hard-fought and significant achievements in the fight against terrorism that has left America and the world safer.
The overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime has made the Middle East safer and given the Iraqi people the opportunity to experience peace and democratic governance. While the U.S. combat role is finished, we must remain a close ally of Iraq and an active partner in training and supporting Iraqi defense forces to ensure peace and stability in the country and the region.
In Afghanistan, U.S. and NATO forces are making significant headway in ridding the country of terrorist activity and violence, paving the way for Afghan leaders and security forces to bring stability to their nation and ensure their country does not revert to being a terrorist safe haven. The death of Osama bin Laden and the killing and capture of hundreds of high-ranking figures has left al Qaeda a weak and decentralized organization. The U.S. and our allies must remain ever-vigilant in defeating al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and wherever else it rears its ugly head.
These successes are significant, but there are additional and equally dangerous threats that face the United States today and in the future.
A nuclear-enabled Iran would pose a threat to Israel and other U.S. allies and create further instability in the Middle East. To isolate Iran and force it to abandon its nuclear weapons development program, I was proud to support the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 and subsequent legislation to impose strict sanctions on financial institutions and petroleum companies that do business with Iran.
Likewise, an unstable and unpredictable North Korea is a constant threat to the security of our allies in East Asia and must be handled in a firm but responsible manner. China’s rapid military expansion and renewed assertiveness throughout the Asian continent and elsewhere will also pose a unique and wide-ranging challenge to U.S. policy in the region.
Finally, the democratic awakening of 2011, which saw popular protests in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen overthrow long-time autocratic regimes, was a positive development for peace and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. The political fallout from these democratic revolutions, however, will also require continued U.S. partnership and engagement to ensure the governments elected in these nations are committed to peace, democracy, and the rule of law.
On all of these issues, a sound and prudent foreign policy will require coordination between Congress, the President, and our allies, as well as a strong and reliable military. I am committed to ensuring our nation remains the beacon of freedom and democracy to which the world aspires and our military remain the finest fighting force on the planet.
If you are a reservist, a family member or friend of a reservist, or interested in joining the reserves, here are answers to your questions about health care plans, pay, pensions, and local reservist support groups.
Reservist Family Benefit Handbook This booklet is designed to help when your loved one is away, whether serving in support of a military operation overseas, performing security or other duty in a local or regional location, or performing training at the local armory or reserve center. (Supplied by Dept. of Defense)
Predeployment Guide: A Plan For Coping Being separated from family and friends is never easy, but the Predeployment Guide provided here can make it a more bearable experience for you. (Supplied by U.S. Air Force)