Minnesota has a proud tradition of being at the forefront of helping to defend our national security. Elements of the Minnesota National Guard led the Allied invasion forces in North Africa and Italy during World War II, they dutifully protected our northern border during the Cold War, and they have been called upon time and again in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to provide warfighting support, medical evacuation, and transportation. Sen. Smith will carry this spirit of leadership and fight for principled national security policies that prudently employ our investments in personnel, technology, and partnerships with our allies for the benefits of our nation.

The U.S. military is the best in the world. However, as the recently released National Defense Review highlighted, the number of threats to our national security is growing. Terrorism, great power competition, and nuclear proliferation will not be easy national security challenges but the way forward is clear. We must continue to invest in personnel, technology, and the partnerships that have been so successful at ensuring our security.

It is also important to recognize that our national security is best served when the military is not our only tool. We must also make effective use of diplomacy and development. Diplomacy is essential if we are going to solve tough security challenges from the Middle East to China and North Korea – without dangerous military conflict. And fostering development is not only good for the communities where it happens – it is good for the U.S. because it promotes stability and prosperity and fosters alliances.