Ever since Congressman Garamendi and his wife Patti embarked on a journey that would forever shape their lives – they two years they fought smallpox in rural Ethiopia as volunteers in the Peace Corps – Garamendi's perspective on foreign policy has been shaped by three primary principles.
- America’s moral authority as the world’s leader of free nations rests on a devotion to human rights and individual liberty for all citizens of all nations.
- Diplomacy should always be our first mission in international relations, and ultimately, is almost always the best way to resolve conflicts abroad.
- A strong and smart military is an essential safeguard for national security and an effective deterrent against those who would consider acts of aggression against peaceful nations and innocent people.
Travis and Beale Air Force Bases
Northern California is lucky to have two of the Air Force's most essential bases at Travis and Beale. As the Defense Department transitions to the realities of America's 21st century military needs, both of these bases will remain critical institutions, and Congressman Garamendi is proud to represent them in Congress.
Mobility, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), and cybersecurity will only grow in importance in the decades ahead, and Travis and Beale are at the forefront of this mission. Whether its delivering relief to Tsunami victims or monitoring Al Qaeda movements, Travis and Beale Air Force Bases are helping the world and keeping America safe.
Congressman Garamendi has used his position on the Armed Services Committee to tirelessly fight for the vital missions at Travis and Beale. When the Air Force inadvertentently retired the Global Hawk Block 30 fleet stationed at Beale without Congressional approval, Garamendi used a committee hearing to highlight the error and the Global Hawk program was preserved. As military needs change and technologies come and go, Garamendi is focused on ensuring the next generation missions are stationed at Travis and Beale.
Congressman Garamendi supports an end to the war in Afghanistan as soon as possible. The longest war in U.S. history must come to a close. We must target Al Qaeda like a laser wherever it emerges, and this requires a continued investment in military intelligence and special forces.
When President Obama signaled that he was prepared to attack Syria without Congressional authorization, Garamendi was one of a small group of Congressional leaders who publicly led the charge against the action. Garamendi was deeply concerned about the implications of getting into another open ended war in the Middle East. Throughout those tense weeks, Garamendi, joined by colleagues on both sides of the aisle, urged the United States to pursue a diplomatic solution to Syria's chemical weapons, and ultimately, an international process to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons stockpile was put into place. This showed the power of diplomacy and international cooperation and helped prevent U.S. involvement in a war that could have had drastic unintended consequences.
The United States has a moral and strategic interest in a strong, secure and viable Israel. The special relationship between the United States and Israel is based on shared values and a commitment to democratic principles, and Congressman Garamendi supports continuing that relationship. Garamendi is deeply troubled by the influence Hamas and Hezbollah have in Palestine, and America must work closely with Palestinian moderates to help ensure Israel has a partner in peace as we work together to create a two-state solution that works for both sides. For more information on Garamendi's policies on Israel and Palestine, see here.
Working with our Allies
The United States has a productive relationship with most nations of the world. We should work with our allies and free people everywhere to promote democracy, equality, opportunity, and freedom. Promoting international gender equality is a priority of Congressman Garamendi's, because we know the oppression of women sets back liberty and makes for a more dangerous more oppressive planet. We must also work stridently to promote a free press the world over, because access to the truth is an essential first step to knowing what needs to be changed.
Economic and Social Development
America should be the world’s advocate in promoting human rights throughout the world. American benevolence can have a profound impact in regions of the world suffering from starvation and disease. We know that extremism and violence thrive in the poorest regions of the world, so this is really a national security issue too. As a proud alumnus of the Peace Corps, Garamendi supports its continued presence and expansion throughout the world, and we must work with the international community to promote fair trade and a sustainable global economy.