OPINION: With the Right Leadership, Security, Opportunity Attainable
We live in a dangerous world.
That stark reality has been confirmed time and again throughout my professional life serving as an FBI Supervisory Special Agent and federal prosecutor. From terror threats abroad to violence and extremism here at home, the pressures facing our nation and its leaders can seem overwhelming. Add to that emerging challenges of cyber-security and border security – mixed with Washington’s partisan gridlock – it could be easy to surrender our future to a status quo of reduced safety and increased fear.
As a national security professional, and as an American, I refuse to accept that. I’m running for Congress because I believe security and opportunity for every family is an attainable goal with the right leadership.
When I was serving as an FBI counter-terror agent in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom – the largest of several open fronts in the War on Terror – I looked terrorists in the eye. Working with our nation’s armed forces, we sought to identify terror networks, head off attacks and, most importantly, choke out their funding streams.
In the battle against groups ranging from ISIS to al Shabaab, the most effective and proactive strategy is to disrupt the flow of money which allow these non-state actors to finance their evil agendas. Terror funding, and the fight against it, must be a priority of Washington as we seek to stabilize regions internationally and keep the homeland safe.
Unfortunately, we are handicapping these efforts by continuing down the misguided path paved by this administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. Iran is the largest state sponsor of terror in the world and, regardless of nuclear capabilities, has committed itself to the destruction of our ally Israel and western ideals of freedom and democracy. Through the removing of international sanctions, unfreezing of assets and payment of apparent ransoms to Tehran, the United States is increasing the flow of funds which will ultimately be spent on terror. In Congress, I will work to reverse this dangerous agreement.
This clear-eyed view of our foreign policy and national security efforts is needed now more than ever. We must allow military leaders, not politicians, to develop and implement our military strategy and base foreign policy on facts and logic, not political correctness. The goal of our policies should always be to restore American leadership across the globe in a manner that advances our interests without putting our resources at risk.
On the home-front, we must be equally diligent. Our broken immigration system must be addressed in a bipartisan manner that puts a premium on keeping Americans safe and respecting the rule of law. The first step must be securing the border; enhancing human intelligence programs, increasing information sharing, and the formation of a federal agent/National Guard Task Force to assess weaknesses and find solutions – both along our porous borders and in our outmoded legal immigration and visa programs.
Likewise, we must recommit to keeping our streets and communities safe. On top of their already extraordinary responsibilities, our local, state and federal law enforcement are now faced with the specter of terror and the very-real epidemic of drug addiction and the violence it begets. As a member of the law enforcement community, I understand the weight of these issues and will work tirelessly to ensure law enforcement has all of the tools necessary to keep us safe. For this, I am honored to have earned the endorsement of our local and state Fraternal Order of Police and Pennsylvania firefighters.
We need leaders versed in the realities of the threats we face and ready to remind Congress that its number one priority isn’t playing politics, it’s keeping you safe. As your next Congressman, I’ll take my 14 years of experience keeping your families safe as an FBI Supervisory Special Agent and a federal prosecutor to Capitol Hill and be an independent voice for all.
Originally published 10/26/16 – Bucks Co. Courier Times