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 cyber security will only grow in importance in the decades ahead, and Travis and Beale are at the forefront of this mission. Whether it is delivering relief to Tsunami victims or monitoring Al Qaeda and ISIL 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 fight for the vital missions at Travis and Beale. At Beale, he has worked to protect the Global Hawk and U-2 and secured funds to rebuild the base’s Civil Engineering Building. He also worked to bring the KC-135 Stratotanker to the Base, which allows Beale to dispatch 200,000 pounds of fuel for mid-air refueling missions. At Travis, he helped bring new units to the base and is working to ensure that the KC-46 will have a home at the Gateway to the Pacific.
Garamendi has consistently voted to improve pay and benefits for servicemembers, and he’s working with the Pentagon and private sector to remove duplicitous certifications that are a waste of time and money for highly skilled and well-trained servicemembers transitioning to civilian life.
Protecting Americans from Terrorism
Congressman Garamendi believes targeted airstrikes against terrorist networks that pose a threat to the United States are an important part of the strategy to keep Americans safe. Working with our allies and partners in the region, we must continue to dismantle ISIL and Al Qaeda. While there is a role for intelligence and special operations, Garamendi is otherwise opposed to Americans fighting on the ground in the fight against ISIL. We should instead support our Muslim partners in the region in their campaigns against ISIL.
At home, we need to depend on close intelligence sharing with our allies. It’s also important for law enforcement to have a close relationship with every community in America. We need innocent people who live in America from all backgrounds to feel comfortable alerting us to red flags.
Garamendi also supports stopping people on terrorist watch lists from purchasing arms, particularly guns designed to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible.
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.