National Security and Foreign Policy

Vigorous diplomacy, strategic foreign assistance, and the judicious use of force as a last resort must be core elements of U.S. foreign policy. America is also stronger when it acts in concert with its allies and partners around the world. American engagement abroad translates directly into the security and prosperity of Americans at home and helps prevent some of the crises that may require U.S. soldiers to go to war.

Senator Van Hollen believes that the United States needs to ramp up pressure on the North Korean regime in order to secure an agreement to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. That is why he introduced the bipartisan Banking Restrictions Involving North Korea (BRINK) Act, which offers foreign firms a stark choice: you can do business with the United States or with North Korea, but you can’t do business with both. By cutting off North Korea’s access to the international financial system, we seek to compel North Korea to engage in serious nuclear negotiations.

He is also very focused on the issue of foreign interference in our elections. Our national security and intelligence community has concluded that Russia tried to undermine our most recent elections, and that they will try again in the future. To prevent this, Senator Van Hollen has introduced the bipartisan Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act. The legislation sends a clear message to Putin and any other foreign actor who may follow its example: if you attack us, the consequences will be severe. By ensuring that there are severe, automatic, non-waivable sanctions on Russia’s economic, oil, and banking sectors, we can stop future attacks on our democracy.

Some of the most significant threats to U.S. national security come from countries that are corrupt, poorly governed, and suffering from extreme poverty and disease. These countries require American leadership and the American example to help address some of the root causes of conflict and to give a voice to the aspirations of their people. That is why, along with supporting a strong national defense, Senator Van Hollen has advocated for robust funding for the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.