I was privileged to serve three and a half years as a JAG Officer on active duty in the U.S. Navy and to continue my service in the Naval Reserve until retiring at the rank of Commander in 2005. As a veteran with over twenty years of service, I truly believe in the necessity of a strong national defense. The most important duty of our national government is to keep the American people safe from our enemies.

Islamic extremism poses the greatest threat is to our security today. As we well know, this is not a new threat, but a continued one. I commend our military and intelligence services for the outstanding job they have done and are doing in fighting the War on Terror.

This war will likely continue on several fronts for a long time to come. We cannot become complacent simply because of our past successes. Our military should always be given every tool they need to stop these threats. American leadership, militarily and otherwise, is necessary in order for the other free nations of the world to join this fight, until the threats are contained.

Here at home, our borders must be secured immediately to eliminate the entry of ISIS or other terrorist groups into the United States. Visas allowing entry into the United States should be severely limited for those from countries or areas where terrorist activity is supported or for those whose profile suggest they may be suspected as terrorists or terrorist sympathizers.

Afghanistan and other Middle-Eastern countries cannot be allowed to become rogue Islamic states and staging grounds for terrorist activities, as was formerly the case in Afghanistan. America must lead the world’s free nations in taking the difficult steps necessary to prevent ISIS, al Qaeda, and Iranian supported groups from overrunning vulnerable nations or areas, turning them into terrorist strongholds. The 10,000 remaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan, slated to withdraw in 2016, should continue to be deployed until Afghan forces are capable of maintaining stability against insurgents within their borders.

The War on Terror is not a police action, it’s a military operation. When foreign terrorists are treated as ordinary criminals, given American constitutional rights, and placed in the federal criminal justice system for prosecution, we lose a degree of our freedom as American citizens.

Military tribunals should be the exclusive forum in which to prosecute foreign terrorists, and the facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba should remain open to detain them as long as the war continues. When American lives are at stake, enhanced interrogation techniques should be available to the CIA and others who are charged with protecting us. Terrorists captured in the United States should be immediately placed in CIA custody.

Israel is one of our most faithful allies, especially in the fight against terrorism. America must always be a friend to Israel, economically and militarily, and resist efforts from any quarter to compromise Israel’s territorial integrity. The United States should unflinchingly join Israel in every effort, diplomatically, militarily, or otherwise, to quickly dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapon capabilities.

Russian aggression must be confronted. Defense Shield missile systems, including long range defense missiles and the Aegis Ashore system, should be immediately deployed in Poland over Russian objections as a result of Russia’s takeover of Crimea and its other interferences in Ukraine. Long delayed export permits for U.S. produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) should be fast-tracked, over bogus climate change concerns, by the Department of Energy. American LNG exports to Europe would dramatically reduce European dependence on Russian supplied natural gas, denying Russia the economic leverage over Europe it has used to temper Western response to its bad acts. Thousands of American jobs would be created in the process.

Russia has the ability to compromise America’s electric power grid, American financial companies, and our air traffic control and oil and gas distribution networks through cyber attacks. National security command and control systems are also subject to these threats. China, Iran, North Korea, and various terrorists groups have proven they will attack the United States and U.S. interests as they further develop their ability to conduct offensive cyber activities. U.S. Congressmen charged with our nation’s security must be fully aware of these threats in order to support the efforts of the military, intelligence services, and the private sector in developing cyber defenses.

To remain free, we cannot isolate ourselves from world events. A woeful lack of leadership and the will to fight marks reality in Washington today. Threats confront us from a myriad of sources at multiple levels. Conservative fighters who will not compromise the security of this nation are needed more than ever in the U.S. Congress. As a proud Navy veteran, I am determined to protect this great land of ours and to honor and meet our national commitments to the veterans who have served us.

Help me join the fight to maintain America’s security in the United States House of Representatives.