National Security & Foreign Policy
As a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, Tim has been a leader on foreign policy and military issues in the Senate. He is committed to providing the best quality resources to our servicemembers and their families, protecting Americans from national security threats, and strengthening relationships with international partners.
Tim believes in striving for diplomatic solutions to conflicts and maintaining a commitment to our values of freedom, democracy, and human rights. He is committed to strengthening America’s national security through a balance of our military, economic, and diplomatic tools. In his role on the Armed Services Committee and as the father of a Marine, Tim believes there is no decision more serious than to send our troops into harm’s way, and his goal is to minimize the risk of unnecessary war and maximize the chance that the United States will decisively win any war we must fight.
Since taking office, Tim has been critical of Presidents using military force without congressional authorization and has worked to improve the way the President and Congress consult on matters of war and the initiation of U.S. military action. Tim has introduced bipartisan legislation to revise the War Powers Resolution of 1973 and to authorize U.S. military action against al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the Taliban, arguing that our troops and the American public deserve an open debate and vote on who we are fighting against and where we are fighting.
Tim has been a leading voice in the Senate on Iran and a co-author of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. He believes it was a mistake for President Trump to walk away from the Iran deal, which has enhanced U.S. and global security by preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Tim has consistently supported efforts to push back on Iran’s destabilizing behavior. He has supported strengthened sanctions on Iran for its human rights abuses, ballistic missile testing, and terrorist activities (including Hezbollah), and voted in 2016 to extend the Iran Sanctions Act. Tim has spoken out about President Trump’s erratic behavior toward North Korea, which could raise the risk of war, and how pulling out of the Iran deal damaged our credibility in negotiating the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. He has also expressed concern over Trump’s unwillingness to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin or hold him accountable for Russian cyber attacks, meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections and the elections of our allies, and military invasions into Ukraine. Tim believes the United States must do more to protect our democracy against additional attacks from Russia.
Through his role on the Armed Services Committee, Tim has discussed with senior military officials the need for a coherent U.S. cyber strategy in order to deter foreign adversaries from conducting cyber-attacks on the U.S. Tim has recognized that part of this strategy includes ensuring that we have a robust cyber workforce in place to defend the nation in both the private and public sectors. Virginia is a center for the nation’s cyber workforce, with the second highest concentration of tech workers in the U.S., the largest concentration of data centers in the world, and is home to key federal agencies. To help strengthen this critical workforce, Tim has introduced and passed into law several pieces of legislation—including the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program Act and the Cyber Scholarship Opportunities Act—to make more scholarships available for students, particularly at community colleges, in exchange for a service requirement in the cyber field for the government.
Virginia is one of the most militarily connected states in the country, and Tim knows that the Commonwealth plays a huge role in helping the nation meet our national security challenges. Tim is proud that Virginia is home to every service branch, including the largest naval station in the world, premier Army, Marine Corps and Air Force installations, and a robust Coast Guard presence. He has been instrumental in ensuring that our military installations have the resources they need to keep the country safe. Tim is committed to providing the best quality resources to servicemembers, military families, and veterans and has championed legislation to help remove barriers to employment for veterans and military spouses.