When drafting the U.S. Constitution, our founding fathers emphasized the importance of protecting this great nation. As Americans, we are charged to “provide for the common defense … and secure the blessings of liberty.” Protecting our homeland has always been among our most fundamental values.
Our security challenges are only magnified in a time when extremist ideologies result in the possibility of sophisticated attacks ranging from chemical, biological, and nuclear, to attacks in cyberspace. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I work hard every day to ensure that our country is ready to respond to any foreign or domestic threats.
Iran poses one of our biggest security challenges. In light of the recent revelation of Iran’s plot against the Israeli embassy and Saudi Arabian ambassador on American soil, as well as serious concerns about Iran’s nuclear pursuits, I have supported swift and decisive action against Iran. I am a co-sponsor of the Iran Threat Reduction Act, and recently helped introduce legislation that would require the president to impose sanctions on foreign financial institutions that conduct transactions with Iran’s Central Bank. Last month, I asked my colleagues in Congress to join me in sending a letter to the president to express the need for every relevant branch of the United States government to begin the work required to cripple Iran’s Central Bank. We must increase economic pressure to dissuade Iran’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons capabilities. An effective way to do that is to cut Iran off from the international banking system.
The recent death of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il, has caused new security concerns. Kim Jong-il subjected North Korea’s people to profound impoverishment, developed nuclear weapons, and sold technology related to their development abroad. I support investigation into North Korea’s production and of nuclear weapons, the threat of attacks against South Korea, its record of human rights abuses, and will continue to monitor Northeast Asia during this time of instability.
We also know that our borders and ports of entry, such as the Port of Wilmington and Sunny Point, represent potential avenues, not just for terrorists, but also for threats in the form of smuggling, human trafficking, and transnational crime. I have been an original cosponsor of the Secure America with Verification and Enforcement Act, which is a three-point plan to increase border security by increasing manpower, technology, and infrastructure needs on our northern and southern borders.
It is an honor to work, along with the patriotic men and women who defend our country, to do everything in my power to keep the American people safe. Historically, our counterterrorism efforts were based on the belief that we faced the greatest risk from attacks carried out by individuals coming from abroad. However, the increasing number of arrests of U.S. citizens on terror-related charges means that we all must stay alert, and I encourage communities to forge strong partnerships with local law enforcement.
That is why I have an advisory committee on Law Enforcement and also a Homeland Security Task Force, composed of first responders from across our district. We all as citizens share responsibility for our collective security, both at home in Southeastern North Carolina and across the nation. Together, we can protect the families and communities that we cherish so much.
— Mike McIntyre, a Lumberton native, represents District 7 in the U.S. House or Representatives.