My top priority for our nation’s foreign policy is to ensure the safety and security of the American people. With ever-increasing challenges to our national security and interests, it is imperative that the United States promote peace through strength as the leader of the free world.
A military that is second to none is critical in responding to this challenge. Maintaining a clear military superiority is vital to deter and defend against aggression by our adversaries who wish harm upon our nation, notably China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Addressing the threat that China poses to our fundamental values of freedom, human rights, and free enterprise will continue to be the principal challenge facing our nation in the 21st century.
With our adversaries continuing to pursue their nuclear ambitions, efforts to modernize our nuclear deterrent must remain a high priority. The Air Force is currently upgrading the U.S. land-based ballistic missile force through the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program. As home to the GBSD program, Utah’s Hill Air Force Base is vital to our country’s military readiness and capacity to deter aggression from other nations. Hill also houses the Consolidated Mission Control Center (CMCC), which provides real-time air and ground monitoring and test functions for 5th generation aircraft. In the Fiscal Year 2020 NDAA and related appropriations bill, I fought for $1.87 billion in funding for at least 98 F-35s, with repairs and maintenance occurring at Hill Air Force Base. The legislation also included $557 million for the GBSD program. I will keep fighting to ensure Hill receives the resources it needs to prepare our Air Force to face any threat against the United States.
As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, my responsibility to defend and promote our national interests is not one I take lightly. In this capacity, I traveled to Israel, Ramallah, Jordan, and Iraq to discuss with government and civilian leaders how the United States can support a more secure and prosperous future in the region.
Our international objectives are further enhanced through our diplomacy, alliances, foreign assistance, and other soft power tools. I will continue to elevate diplomacy in our foreign relations around the world to protect the safety and security of Americans at home and abroad.