National Security

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.

Latest Releases

U.S. Senator Tina Smith and Colleagues Call on Israeli Ambassador Herzog to Accelerate Aid Delivery and Ensure Safety for Aid Workers

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined Senators Peter Welch (D-VT), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) in sending a letter to Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog, on the imperative of urgently providing humanitarian aid in Gaza.  The letter highlights specific steps that Ambassador Herzog and the Israeli government should take to ensure that aid reaches Gaza and to protect aid workers.  “Since October 7, nearly 30,000 people have been killed in Israel’s counterattack on Gaza.  While many were Hamas terrorists, a significant number were innocent civilians. Further, at least 1.7 million Palestinians have been internally displaced in Gaza. They have need for clean water, food, medical support, and humanitarian aid. Starvation and widespread disease in Gaza are imminent,” wrote the four U.S. Senators.   “We believe that the future path to peace, security and stability will be enhanced dramatically by facilitating the delivery of essentials for survival to the Palestinian people whose fate is imperiled,” the Senators conclude.  The letter outlines four actions Israel should take to accelerate aid delivery into Gaza and assist the safety of aid workers, including:  Text of the letter follows: Dear Ambassador Herzog: We unequivocally condemn Hamas’ barbaric attack on Israel October 7, 2023, and hope that all the hostages return home safely. We support Israel’s right and obligation to pursue the Hamas terrorists who planned and carried out the October 7 attack and deem the prospect of Hamas retaining military control of Gaza unacceptable.  We also believe, there is an urgent need to provide

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Joins Van Hollen, Durbin, Kaine, Schatz Amendment Requiring the Use of U.S. Supplemental Aid Comply with U.S., International Law

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Dick Durbin, (D-Ill.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) announced growing momentum around their amendment to require that the weapons received by any country under the proposed national security supplemental are used in accordance with U.S. law, international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict. The amendment is now supported by Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.). These Senators add their support to the group of over a dozen Senators who initially cosponsored the amendment: Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.). The Senators’ amendment also requires that the president report to the Congress on whether countries receiving military equipment paid for by American taxpayers meet that test and whether the use of U.S-supplied weapons comports with established presidential directives on arms transfers and Defense Department policies for reducing harm to civilians. And it would buttress current law that prohibits U.S. security assistance to any country that prevents or restricts U.S. humanitarian assistance to those in need, subject to a presidential waiver. The amendment does not apply to funds for air defense systems or other systems that the president determines will be used for strictly defensive purposes. “I am pleased to see growing momentum behind our effort to ensure that American taxpayer dollars are used by our

U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Statement on the Death of Minnesota Native Jimmy Hill in Ukraine

WASHINGTON, D.C. [03/17/22]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement in response to the news that Minnesota native Jimmy Hill was killed during a military strike by Russia in Ukraine: “The death of Jimmy Hill is horrible news and my thoughts are with Jimmy and his family in Minnesota. Putin’s unprovoked war in Ukraine is causing destruction and loss of life and is taking a human toll the world over.”

U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Statement on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

WASHINGTON, D.C. [02/24/22]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: “Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, a sovereign democratic nation, is an affront to freedom and democracy around the world. Putin’s decision to launch this unjustified war will cause catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia must be held accountable for this blatant and illegal aggression, and I will continue to stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they defend their country. I commend the Biden administration for leading a unified front with our NATO allies to impose swift and severe sanctions

U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Statement on President Biden’s Response to Russian Actions in Ukraine Senator Commends President Biden for his Decisive Leadership

WASHINGTON, D.C. [02/22/22]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement on President Biden’s response to Russian actions in Ukraine: “As we face the worst threat of war in Europe since World War II, President Biden has laid out a strong, comprehensive approach to Vladimir Putin’s indefensible violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and international law.  “Under President Biden’s leadership, the United States and our NATO allies are united in opposing Russian aggression against a sovereign democratic nation. I support the Biden administration’s move to deter further brazen aggression by imposing punishing sanctions on Russia. By rallying our allies and working together with

U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Statement on Storming of U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON, D.C. [1/6/21]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) issued the following statement: “Today’s attacks on the U.S. Capitol and federal buildings strike at the core principle of our democracy, that the people decide who represents them. The seditionists were incited by the most destructive and anti-democratic President in our history. For too long, some political leaders, especially the President, have used their power and position to fuel distrust in our elections with no evidence and no purpose other than to advance their own personal political power. It’s despicable and runs counter to our oath of office, to protect the United States from all enemies foreign and