As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, as well as the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, Senator Shaheen is dedicated to strengthening America’s national security. She believes that a strong and active United States is fundamental to securing our national interests at home and abroad. Senator Shaheen also believes that U.S. global leadership is directly tied to the strength of our ideals, our alliances and our diplomacy, and she is constantly working to ensure our national security policies reflect our broader democratic values.
Today, the world is more interconnected than ever before, and our nation’s economy and security are directly linked to events across the globe. Many businesses in New Hampshire and throughout the U.S. rely on access to markets and consumers thousands of miles away. The threats of the 21st century – from terrorism to authoritarianism, failed states to cyberattacks, climate change to disease – are truly global and require a balanced approach that leverages all of America’s ingenuity and power and contributions from our allies and partners.
Senator Shaheen believes that America’s leaders have a responsibility to leave the world a better and safer place for the next generation of Americans.
A Strong Military
The United States Armed Forces are the strongest and most capable in the history of the world, and they form the backbone of American national security. In today’s world, a strong military no longer means simply having the most firepower; it requires new technologies, adaptive innovation and flexible institutions. As the United States continues to face multiple threats and commitments overseas, we must ensure we not only provide for our current defense, but also invest in our military’s future. Senator Shaheen is dedicated to strengthening America’s military by taking care of our service members and equipping our military to meet today’s challenges and confront tomorrow’s threats.
Support for our Troops
Our men and women in uniform are the greatest asset of the United States military, and we are all grateful for their service and sacrifice. During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our service members carried a tremendous burden, and we must not forget the toll this has taken on them and on their families. Senator Shaheen has been a leader in supporting our active-duty troops, our National Guard and Reserve forces and their families. In particular, as co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus, the Senator has fought for the New Hampshire National Guard, which continues to deploy overseas and respond to domestic emergencies at home. She recognizes the sacrifice our service men and women face and deeply values their service, which is why she continues to advocate for the New Hampshire National Guard's Care Coordination Program. This important program provides mental health care, financial counseling and substance abuse referrals for service members and their families before, during and after deployments. Senator Shaheen also serves as co-chair of the Senate Navy Caucus, a role that she uses to advocate fiercely for New Hampshire’s Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which is our nation’s longest continually operating public shipyard and the biggest employer in New Hampshire’s Seacoast region. In addition, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower, Senator Shaheen is committed to policies that support the Shipyard’s efforts to maintain our Virginia-class submarines that play an important role in support of the United States’ national defense.
The Transatlantic Alliance
Senator Shaheen is a strong advocate for the transatlantic alliance that has long been the bedrock of U.S. foreign policy. She has played a leading role in maintaining and rebuilding bilateral and multilateral relationships with U.S. allies and partners. She proudly supports Ukraine in their fight for freedom amid Russia’s unprovoked, further illegal invasion that was launched in February 2022. Senator Shaheen has long called out Russia’s malign activity and was the first lawmaker in Congress to demand an investigation into the Kremlin’s interference in U.S. elections in 2016. Because of her efforts to hold Russian dictator Vladimir Putin accountable for his belligerence against the United States, and the West, she was sanctioned by the Kremlin in 2017. As the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation and co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group that she re-established in 2018 with Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Senator Shaheen continues to lead on defending democracies around the globe and enhancing our transatlantic alliance to preserve our rules-based order against Russia, or any adversaries who threatens our global security. This includes addressing the increasing economic and military threats from China by bolstering security cooperation with Indo-Pacific partners.
Terrorist organizations still reside in many nations all over the world, including in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia, and many of these still aim to attack the United States or our interests. Senator Shaheen is committed to protecting Americans by ensuring that terrorists do not have a safe haven to plan attacks, while also encouraging greater cooperation with allies and partners so that the underlying conditions of instability do not lead to a future rise in violent extremism. She remains vigilant in addressing the ongoing threats posed by ISIS in detainee and displaced persons camps in the Middle East that experience worsening security and humanitarian conditions.
Senator Shaheen has also championed efforts to protect the United States and our close ally Israel from security threats, including through support for security assistance to the Israeli military to help them defend from the threat of rocket attacks. In light of Iran’s continued support for the terrorist group Hizballah, which is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, she authored and saw passed the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act. According to Treasury officials, her legislation has caused Hizballah to be “in its worst financial shape in decades,” which means fewer resources are available to this dangerous terrorist group.
Women and Girls Empowerment
Senator Shaheen is a leading advocate for women and girls around the world. As a member of both the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, Senator Shaheen has prioritized issues to empower and protect women, including advocating on behalf of women’s health, spearheading efforts to end gender-based violence, authoring legislation to address barriers facing girls around the world in accessing education and ensuring that U.S. policy reflects the active roles that women must play in conflict resolution and peace negotiations. She also supports a permanent, Ambassador-level position at the State Department responsible for prioritizing the advancement of women and girls in U.S. foreign policy efforts.
The threat of nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands is a nightmare scenario for American security. A nuclear weapon detonated anywhere around the globe would have immediate and devastating consequences for American economic and national security interests. Meeting the nuclear threat requires the United States to take concrete steps to secure dangerous materials and weapons around the globe and requires robust and sustained international engagement. As the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, Senator Shaheen supported sustaining the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which has reduced the number of nuclear warheads aimed at the United States and restored American leadership on the nuclear agenda. Even as tensions with Russia have escalated, Senator Shaheen has continued to call for continued bilateral cooperation on nuclear disarmament.
Of the 97 million barrels of oil consumed globally on a daily basis, American consumption is responsible for nearly 20 million of those barrels – a disproportionate percentage relative to the global population. Senator Shaheen believes that energy security is an important component of our national security, and the United States is not alone in our efforts to find new and cleaner sources of energy. As the developing world continues to demand exponentially more energy, achieving energy security for America and our friends abroad becomes even more critical. For this reason, Senator Shaheen has led action in the U.S. Senate to ensure the broader deployment of clean and energy efficient technologies that strengthen our nation’s energy security, reduce pollution and improve the resiliency of our electric grid.
Senator Shaheen also believes it is important for our military to improve its energy efficiency and develop alternative fuels to improve combat effectiveness and address vulnerabilities due to our dependence on conventional sources of energy. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Shaheen will continue to advocate for these improvements so that the military can enhance the range of its ships and vehicles, lighten the load for our soldiers and reduce risk.