2004 US Republican Party Platform/2
WINNING THE WAR ON TERROR
"Our nation's cause has always been larger than our nation's defense. We fight, as we always fight, for a just peace – a peace that favors liberty. We will defend the peace against the threats from terrorists and tyrants. We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers. And we will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent."
— President George W. Bush President Bush has confronted unprecedented challenges, including a world scarred by terrorism. The President and the American people have risen to the occasion by acting on a bold new statement of America's place and purpose in the world. Today, we are filled with hope for the most dramatic advance of liberty in 60 years. President Bush's leadership is rooted in the timeless values that have made America a unique and exalted nation: respect for individual rights; a deep commitment to freedom; a desire to serve as a living example of the power of democracy. The President's leadership has achieved successes once deemed impossible to realize in so short a period of time. His forward-looking strategy for freedom and peace is making progress in every part of the world. The President and Republicans in Congress recognize that new threats demand new tools and new methods for defending America and promoting our goals in the world. They have responded swiftly to the challenges of a new era, rather than remaining wedded to outdated theories and fighting battles that ended long ago. Their accomplishments are the foundation upon which future progress will be built.
A Comprehensive Strategy to Win the War on Terror, Promote Peace, and Build a Better World
The world changed on September 11, 2001, and since that day, under the strong, steady, and visionary leadership of President George W. Bush, Americans have helped make the world not only safer, but better. The President continues to lead a steady, confident, systematic campaign to defend America against the dangers of our time. We are going after terrorists wherever they plot and plan and hide, changing the old course of pinprick strikes that did little to get at the root of terrorism. We eliminated many of al Qaeda's key leaders and put the world on notice that nations that train, harbor, or finance terrorists are just as guilty as the terrorists themselves.
We will not allow the world's most dangerous regimes to possess the world's most dangerous weapons. Our message is getting through, as indicated by Libya's leader, who decided to turn over his weapons of mass destruction and cooperate with the international community. Today, because America has acted, and because America has led, the forces of terror and tyranny have suffered defeat after defeat, and America and the world are safer.
On September 11, 2001, we saw the cruelty of the terrorists, and we glimpsed the future they intend for us. They intend to strike the United States to the limits of their power. They seek weapons of mass destruction to kill Americans on an even greater scale. This danger is increased when outlaw regimes build or acquire weapons of mass destruction and maintain ties to terrorist groups.
On September 11, 2001, we saw the spirit of courage and optimism of the American people – that greatest assurance of the ultimate triumph of our cause. Courage and optimism led colleagues to help each other in escaping from collapsing buildings. Courage and optimism led policemen, firefighters, emergency medical professionals, public works employees, our men and women in uniform, and selfless volunteers to run into burning buildings to save others and undertake a mammoth rescue and recovery effort. Courage and optimism led the passengers on Flight 93 to rush their murderers to save lives on the ground. Courage and optimism led America's parents and teachers to battle their own fears to keep children calm and safe. In those and countless other acts of heroism on that day, and many times since, terrorists have learned that Americans will not be intimidated. We will fight them with everything we have – and we will prevail.
President Bush answered the challenge of September 11, 2001, not only with steadfast resolve, but also with vision, optimism, and unshakable confidence in the will and faith of the American people. That is what we all saw on September 14, 2001, when our President stood with the brave workers at Ground Zero and resolutely assured our nation amidst our shock, anger, and grief that while the terrorists had struck first, America would have the last word.
The President's most solemn duty is to protect our country. George W. Bush has kept that charge.
To protect our people, President Bush is leading America, staying on the offensive against threats within our own country. He worked with Congress to establish the Department of Homeland Security in the most significant reorganization of the federal government since 1947. The PATRIOT Act is being used to track terrorist activity and to break up terror cells. Now, the FBI can use tools that have been long available to fight organized crime and drug trafficking, but could not be used in the past to fight terrorism. Intelligence and law enforcement officials are sharing information as never before. The President transformed the mission of the FBI to focus first and foremost on preventing terrorism. Every element of America's homeland security plan is critical, because the terrorists are ruthless and resourceful – and we know they are preparing to attack us again. It is not possible to guarantee perfect security in our vast, free nation. But the President and Vice President, along with many fine professionals in intelligence, homeland security, law enforcement, and the military are working tirelessly to protect the country. We are grateful to them all.
President Bush recognized that to overcome the dangers of our time, America would have to take a new approach in the world. That approach is marked by a determination to challenge new threats, not ignore them, or simply wait for future tragedy – and by a renewed commitment to building a hopeful future in hopeless places, instead of allowing troubled regions to remain in despair and explode in violence.
Before entering office, President Bush recognized that our age is a time of opportunity for America – opportunity to translate this moment of influence into decades of peace, prosperity, and liberty. That conviction is in the finest traditions of the Republican Party. As our platform said in 1984, during the height of Cold War confrontation: "The supreme purpose of our foreign policy must be to maintain our freedom in a peaceful international environment in which the United States and our allies and friends are secure against military threats, and democratic governments are flourishing in a world of increasing prosperity."
The reality of 9/11 does not diminish our generation's opportunity to advance the cause of freedom but in fact makes it all the more important that we take up that challenge.
President Bush has rallied America to its calling – to make the world safer and better. This calling is answered by a distinctly American internationalism that reflects the union of our values and our national interests. Americans everywhere are remaining faithful to that duty. By keeping our word and holding firm to our values, this generation is showing the world the power of liberty once again.
Republicans support President Bush's steadfast commitment to the goal of a lasting, democratic peace, in which all nations are free from the threat of sudden terror. We affirm the three commitments of the President's strategy for peace:
- Terrorists long ago declared war on America, and now America has declared war against terrorists. We are defending the peace by taking the fight to the enemy. We are confronting terrorists overseas so we do not have to confront them here at home. We are destroying the leadership of terrorist networks in sudden raids, disrupting their planning and financing, and keeping them on the run. Month by month, we are shrinking the space in which they can freely operate, by denying them territory and the support of governments.
- Nations that support terrorism are just as dangerous, and just as guilty, as the perpetrators of terrorism. Every nation must make a choice to support terror or to support America and our coalition to defeat terror. We are preserving the peace by working with more than 80 allied nations, as well as international institutions, to isolate and confront terrorists and outlaw regimes. America is leading a broad coalition of nations to disrupt proliferation. We are working with the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and other international organizations to take action in our common security. The global threat of terrorism requires a global response. To be effective, that global response requires leadership – and America is leading.
- There is no negotiation with terrorists. No form of therapy or coercion will turn them from their murderous ways. Only total and complete destruction of terrorism will allow freedom to flourish. We will extend the peace by supporting the rise of democracy, and the hope and progress that democracy brings, as the alternative to hatred and terror in the broader Middle East. In democratic societies, men and women do not swear allegiance to malcontents and murderers; they turn their hearts and labor to building better lives. Democratic governments do not shelter terrorist camps or attack their neighbors. When justice and democracy advance, so does the hope of lasting peace.
- We are proud of the President's steady leadership in executing this strategy. We are dealing with terrorist threats as they gather, rather than waiting for them to become imminent dangers. The results are clear to see.
- Three years ago, our nation was not on a war footing against al Qaeda – even though Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States in 1996 and again in 1998. The al Qaeda leadership believed itself to be impervious to any American response, continued to raise funds practically without restriction, and operated in a world in which there was no cohesive global approach to fighting terror.
- Today, al Qaeda has been wounded, having lost many of its known leaders and most of its important sanctuaries. America and its allies and friends have broken al Qaeda cells here in the United States and overseas. A global coalition, led by the United States, has dried up sources of terrorist financing. Thousands of very skilled and determined military personnel remain on the manhunt, going after the remaining killers who hide in cities and caves. Today, because of the solidarity of the international coalition in the War on Terror, we are bringing these terrorists to justice, and the American people are safer.
- Three years ago, al Qaeda's secure home base was in Afghanistan, a country ruled by the Taliban, one of the most backward and brutal regimes of modern history. Schooling was denied to girls. Women were whipped and executed in public. Millions lived in fear. With protection from the Taliban, al Qaeda and its associates trained, indoctrinated, and sent forth thousands of killers to set up terror cells in dozens of countries, including our own.
Today, Afghanistan is a world away from the nightmare of the Taliban. Twenty-eight million people are free. That country has a good and just president. Boys and girls are being educated. Women are respected. Many refugees have returned home to rebuild their country, and a presidential election is scheduled for this fall. The terror camps are closed and the Afghan government is helping us to hunt the Taliban and terrorists in remote regions. Today, because we acted to liberate Afghanistan, a threat has been removed, and the American people are safer.
- Three years ago, Pakistan was one of the few countries in the world that recognized the Taliban regime. Al Qaeda was active and recruiting in Pakistan. Pakistan served as a transit point for al Qaeda terrorists leaving Afghanistan on missions of murder. The United States could not count on the support of Pakistan's military and civilian leaders – the very people we would need to help shut down al Qaeda operations in that part of the world.
- Today, the governments of the United States and Pakistan are working closely in the fight against terror. Pakistan has helped capture Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the operational planner behind the September 11 attacks, and other terrorists. Pakistani forces are rounding up terrorists along their nation's western border. Today, because we are working with Pakistani leaders, Pakistan is an ally in the War on Terror, and the American people are safer.
- Three years ago, terrorists were well-established in Saudi Arabia. Inside that country, fundraisers and other facilitators gave al Qaeda financial and logistical help with little scrutiny or opposition.
- Today, after the attacks in Riyadh and elsewhere, the Saudi government knows that al Qaeda is its enemy. Saudi Arabia is working hard to shut down the facilitators and financial supporters of terrorism. The government has captured or killed many first-tier leaders of the al Qaeda organization in Saudi Arabia. Today, because Saudi Arabia has seen the danger and has joined the War on Terror, the American people are safer.
- Three years ago, the ruler of Iraq was a sworn enemy of America who provided safe haven for terrorists, used weapons of mass destruction, and turned his nation into a prison (...and shook the hand of Donald Rumsfeld. -ed.). Saddam Hussein was not just a dictator; he was a proven mass murderer who refused to account for weapons of mass murder. He defied the international community and seventeen United Nations resolutions over the course of twelve years, giving no indication that Iraq would ever disarm and comply with the just demands of the world. In 2002 – in Resolution 1441 – the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted that Saddam Hussein had one final chance to comply with his obligations to the international community, or there would be serious consequences. As he had for over a decade, he refused to comply. Every responsible nation recognized this threat, and knew it could not go on forever.
Today, the dictator who caused decades of death and turmoil, who twice invaded his neighbors, who harbored terrorist leaders, who used chemical weapons on innocent men, women, and children, finally stands before the bar of justice. Iraq, which once had the worst government in the Middle East, is now becoming an example of reform to the region. Iraqi security forces are fighting beside coalition troops to defeat the terrorists and foreign fighters who threaten their nation and the world. Today, because America and our coalition helped to end the violent regime of Saddam Hussein, and because we are helping to raise a peaceful democracy in its place, 25 million Iraqis are free and the American people are safer.
- Three years ago, the nation of Libya, a longtime supporter of terror, was spending millions to acquire chemical and nuclear weapons.
- Today, thousands of Libya's chemical munitions have been destroyed. Libya's nuclear equipment that could ultimately have threatened the lives of hundreds of thousands is stored away in the United States. Today, because the Libyan government saw the seriousness of the civilized world, and correctly judged its own interests, the American people are safer.
- Three years ago, a private weapons proliferation network was doing business around the world. This network, operated by the Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan, was selling nuclear plans and equipment to the highest bidder, and found willing buyers in places like Libya, Iran, and North Korea.
- Today, the A.Q. Khan network is out of business. We have ended one of the most dangerous sources of proliferation in the world, and the American people are safer.
Republicans applaud President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and those who have supported them in the Congress for the steady leadership that led to these successes. America must stay the course.
Consolidating Gains in the War on Terror
In Afghanistan and Iraq, our enemies have seen the results of what civilized nations can, and will, do against regimes that harbor, support, and use terrorism to achieve their political goals. Republicans believe that America and the world must keep our commitments to the people of those countries, who are building the world's newest democracies and counting on the world to help. Delivering these nations from tyranny has required sacrifice and loss. We must honor that sacrifice by finishing the great work we have begun.
Republicans appreciate the military, financial, and technical assistance provided by the dozens of nations contributing to the reconstruction of Afghanistan and Iraq. The success of free and stable governments in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere will further shrink the space in which terrorists can operate. As the entire region sees the promise of freedom in its midst, the terrorist ideology will become more and more irrelevant, until that day when it is viewed with contempt or ignored altogether.
The forces of many nations are working with Afghans to find and defeat Taliban remnants and eliminate al Qaeda terrorists. We applaud the work of American forces and coalition partners in helping to build the new Afghan national army and to train new Afghan police and border patrol. Together, Afghan and international forces will maintain the peace, secure Afghanistan's borders, and deny terrorists any foothold in that country.
We applaud President Bush's announcement of U.S. support for five new initiatives that will help the Afghan people achieve the peace, stability, and prosperity they deserve – through support for the development of democracy, educational assistance, cultural exchanges, enhanced bilateral economic ties, and increased economic opportunity for women.
The road ahead for Afghanistan is still long and difficult. Yet the Afghan people can know that their country will never be abandoned to terrorists and killers. The world and the United States look forward to elections this year in Afghanistan and stand with the Afghan people as partners in their quest for peace and prosperity, stability, and democracy.
As Republicans, we do not equivocate, as others have done, about whether America should have gone to war in Iraq. The best intelligence available at the time indicated that Saddam Hussein was a threat. On that point, President Bush, members of both parties in Congress, and the United Nations agreed. While the stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction we expected to find in Iraq have not yet materialized, we have confirmed that Saddam Hussein had the capability to reconstitute his weapons programs and the desire to do so. Our nation did the right thing, and the American people are now safer because we and our allies ended the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, halting his decades-long pursuit of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. President Bush had a choice to make: Trust a madman or defend America. He chose defending America.
Supported by brave coalition allies such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Poland, and Denmark, and displaying courage, skill, and resourcefulness on the battlefield, the men and women of our Armed Forces removed the dictator of Iraq, a declared enemy of America who had the capability and intent to produce weapons of mass murder, and could have passed that capability to terrorists bent on killing Americans. That was a risk we could not take.
America's men and women in uniform have been unrelenting in the performance of their duty. Our nation has asked much of our military, and there is still much hard work ahead. We are proud of the sacrifice made by all who have served and are serving, and we are immensely grateful for the sacrifices made by their families and loved ones. Further, we honor the memories of those who have died in combat serving the cause of freedom. Defending our homeland with their ultimate sacrifice on behalf of all Americans merits our prayers and our thanksgiving. We also commit to continued honor and care for our wounded veterans, and support for all who return home from service. Together, we look forward to that day when the War on Terror is won and our military can return home, no longer at risk, our world and our country safer.
We also salute our coalition allies. Their efforts with us to shape a world where freedom is honored and liberty is cherished deserves respect and admiration; their sacrifice, too, does not go without notice and appreciation.
We are ever mindful that American troops remain on the ground in Iraq, working steadfastly to help the Iraqi people achieve stability and democracy. We therefore welcome declarations from responsible political leaders of both parties that our nation will persevere in our mission there, not cut and run. The American people need to hear this message. People in Baghdad and beyond need to hear it. The enemy needs to hear it. Most importantly, American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines risking their lives in Iraq need to hear it.
We condemn inconsistent, ambiguous, and politically expedient statements on that point. To the extent such wavering encourages our adversaries to fight harder, our men and women in uniform suffer the consequences. Their mission is difficult enough. Uncertainty about America's commitment to that mission makes it immeasurably more difficult.
In Iraq, America is serving the cause of liberty, peace, and our own security. America accepted a difficult task in Iraq. We know that for all these reasons, we will finish that task.
We also know that Iraqi sovereignty is a tribute to the will of the Iraqi people and the courage of Iraqi leaders. It is a proud moral achievement for members of our coalition. We have full confidence in the plan for Iraqi self-government that is currently being implemented by Iraq's interim government. That government has gained broad international support, and has been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. The United States and our coalition partners are helping prepare Iraqis for the defense of their own country, including through the work of the NATO mission to train Iraqi security forces. We are helping Iraqis rebuild their country's infrastructure, and Iraq is continuing to move toward free elections, with important assistance from the United Nations.
We applaud President Bush for establishing a visionary and resolute policy – a Forward Strategy of Freedom in the Middle East – to stand with the people of that region as they seek their future in freedom. Republicans support President Bush's policy of working with every government in the Middle East dedicated to destroying the terrorist networks, while in the longer term expecting a higher standard of reform and democracy from our friends in the region. We believe that democracy and reform will make those nations stronger and more stable, and make the world more secure by undermining terrorism at its source.
As a result of President Bush's leadership, G-8 members adopted the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative at this year's Sea Island Summit. We applaud the commitment of the world's leading industrial nations to this historic initiative to support political, economic, and social reform throughout the region.
Halting the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
Republicans agree with the Bush Administration that there is no greater danger to our people than the nexus of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction (WMD). That judgment is shared by leading allies and friends. As President Bush and his fellow G-8 leaders declared in 2003, the spread of weapons of mass destruction and international terrorism constitute "the pre-eminent threat to international security."
The risks posed by this dangerous relationship cannot be contained or deterred by traditional means. We applaud President Bush for pursuing from the beginning of his Administration a comprehensive strategy through which the United States works with its allies to:
- ensure that international agreements against the proliferation of WMD are observed and enforced;
- detect, disrupt, and block the spread of dangerous weapons and technology;
- confront emerging threats from any person or state before those threats have fully materialized; and
- improve our capabilities to respond to the use of WMD and minimize the consequences of an attack.
Over the last two years, under President Bush's leadership and working with like-minded nations, America has:
- ended Saddam Hussein's decades-long pursuit of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons;
- achieved the elimination of Libya's WMD and ballistic missile programs;
- shut down the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network;
- led the Proliferation Security Initiative to interdict dangerous WMD and their means of delivery;
- strengthened efforts to secure weapons-usable materials and sensitive technologies in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere;
- insisted on confronting the threat from North Korea through Six-Party Talks involving the Republic of Korea, Japan, China, and Russia;
- supported the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency to hold the Iranian regime to its treaty obligations;
- strengthened international non-proliferation export control and treaty regimes;
- secured unanimous passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires states to enact legislation that criminalizes proliferation activities; and
- achieved agreement among the G-8 nations to refrain for one year from initiating new transfers of uranium enrichment and reprocessing technology to additional states.
Republicans applaud these achievements, as well as the successes of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, backed by the Republican Congress, here at home to make America safer from the threat of weapons of mass destruction – including:
- creating Biodefense for the 21st Century, a national strategy for meeting the full range of biological threats;
- signing into law Project BioShield, which provides new tools to improve medical countermeasures protecting Americans against a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack;
- putting in place major new biodefense capabilities;
- creating the Container Security Initiative to screen cargo destined for the United States; and
- deploying missile defenses to defend the United States and its friends and allies.
Libya's decision to disclose and dismantle its WMD programs is a product of the President's strategy that gives regimes a choice. They can choose to pursue WMD at great peril and cost, including international isolation. Or they can choose to renounce these weapons, take steps to rejoin the international community, and have its help in creating a better future for their citizens.
The Libya case also demonstrates the President's success in forging increased international cooperation to prevent the spread of WMD technology through his groundbreaking Proliferation Security Initiative, a broad international partnership to coordinate actions to interdict proliferation shipments of WMD and related materials and shut down proliferation networks and entities. Republicans applaud the support of more than 60 nations in this crucial multilateral effort to stop the trade in weapons of mass destruction and their related components.
We commend the President's leadership in expanding greatly the resources to prevent proliferation, including record-level U.S. and multilateral resources devoted to the Nunn-Lugar programs and other nonproliferation assistance, including that made available through the creation of the G-8 Global Partnership, which will provide $20 billion to this effort over 10 years. We hail the commitment of the other G-8 nations (the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, Canada, Germany, France, and Russia) to this vital initiative, as well as commitments by other countries, including Poland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Australia.
Republicans share President Bush's understanding that in an age in which the enemies of civilization openly and actively seek the world's most destructive technologies, the United States cannot remain idle while dangers gather. We therefore believe that to forestall or prevent hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States must, if necessary, act preemptively.
Strengthening Alliances to Win the War on Terror, Promote Peace, and Build a Better World
Republicans recognize that our progress in the War on Terror has been achieved with the help of other responsible nations. We hail the strong and broad-based cooperation of America's allies in the War on Terror. We are grateful to the more than 30 nations with forces serving in Iraq, and the nearly 40 nations with forces serving in Afghanistan. In the fight against terror, America has asked our allies to do hard things. They have taken up these responsibilities in a spirit of solidarity that America should never forget.
We applaud President Bush for his success in mobilizing such international cooperation in the War on Terror, which the 9/11 Commission judges to be "on a vastly enlarged scale" and to have expanded dramatically since September 11, 2001.
We also question the credibility of our opponents, who claim to support global alliances while nominating a candidate who has insulted our allies by calling the nations fighting in Iraq "window-dressing" and referring to them as a "coalition of the coerced and the bribed." Directing ugly rhetoric at America's allies in a time of war is irresponsible. It does not represent the gratitude and respect the vast majority of Americans have for the men and women from other nations who are risking their lives to make the world safer.
Republicans welcome the enlargement of NATO, which has strengthened history's most successful Alliance. The Atlantic Alliance has widened the circle of its friends, while also creating a new chapter in our relationship with Russia.
Under President Bush's leadership, the United States is working with responsible governments and international institutions to convince the leaders of North Korea and Iran that their nuclear weapons ambitions are deeply contrary to their own interests. With allies, America has launched the Broader Middle East Initiative, to encourage reform and democracy throughout the region, a project that will shape the history of our times for the better. Our nation is helping governments fight poverty and disease, so they do not become failed states and future havens for terror.
Strengthening America's National Security Institutions
The major institutions of American national security were designed in a different era to meet different requirements. All of them are being transformed to meet the challenge of defending America in a new era. In this endeavor, America will rely – as always – on the character and skill of our citizens, especially the bravery, pride, and hard work of America's men and women in the military, our first responders, our diplomats, and our law enforcement and intelligence agents.
The freedom we enjoy also makes us vulnerable to attack. Since September 11, 2001, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, the Congress, and governors across the nation have taken significant steps to:
- streamline the federal government to make it more effective at combating terrorism;
- tighten security at entry points like ports, airports, and borders;
- strengthen protections at critical infrastructure landmarks such as power and water plants; and
- reduce the threats of bioterrorism and cyberterrorism.
Through all their actions, President Bush and Congress have been careful to protect the rights and liberties that make America a beacon of freedom and justice. The President and Congress have also provided unprecedented resources to support local first responders.
The men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, and the first responders at the state and local level with whom they have partnered, vigilantly safeguard the security of America each and every day. They have moved swiftly but thoughtfully to direct enhanced resources to counter the dangers of the new and shifting threats we face, and they have proved themselves equal to the task. The Republican Party salutes the work of the:
- Coast Guard in protecting our shores;
- Customs and Border Patrol who police our borders;
- Air marshals and baggage screeners of the Transportation Security Administration in safeguarding our airports and our skies;
- Immigrations and Customs Enforcement in ensuring that the identity of foreign citizens who enter our borders is known;
- Directorate of Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection and the Secret Service for partnering with private industry to protect millions of Americans by enhancing security at chemical plants and other critical infrastructure;
- Federal Bureau of Investigation in applying enhanced law enforcement tools provided by the PATRIOT Act to track down terrorists and thwart their plots before they can be executed to murderous effect;
- Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health for their work in safeguarding the nation from biological attacks; and
- Law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS personnel, and other first responders in state and local jurisdictions throughout the country who have diligently employed increased federal resources to train and prepare for the prevention and mitigation of future terrorist attacks.
- These dedicated men and women, the nation's last line of defense and first hope in response, give their utmost every day to keep us safe.
Department of Homeland Security
Just as the Cold War prompted a massive reorganization of the federal government's foreign policy apparatus, the War on Terror demanded a thorough reorganization of America's domestic preparedness agencies. President Bush led this effort with a plan to merge 22 separate government entities into the new Department of Homeland Security, a cohesive department with the primary mission of keeping America safe. After the American people returned control of the Senate to Republicans in the 2002 mid-term elections, Congress passed legislation enacting the President's plan. Further, to ensure that America's law enforcement, intelligence, and first responders have the resources they need to protect America, President Bush and Congress have nearly tripled homeland security funding since 2001.
Waging War against Terrorists on Every Front
We endorse the efforts of President Bush and Republicans in Congress to keep our homeland safe by taking action on multiple fronts, all aimed at stopping terrorists before they strike.
- The FBI has been refocused to track down terrorists before they attack.
- The Treasury Department is now leading the effort to find and eliminate sources of terrorist financing around the world. Since September 11, 2001, the United States and our allies have designated 345 terrorist-related entities and frozen more than $139 million in terrorist assets in more than 1,400 accounts worldwide.
- The President signed into law the PATRIOT Act, which gives law enforcement and intelligence agents the same tools to fight terror that have long been available to fight organized crime and drug trafficking. The PATRIOT Act also made it possible for law enforcement and intelligence agents to share information and coordinate efforts to prevent terrorism. The 9/11 Commission rightly praised the PATRIOT Act's role in improving information sharing.
- Since the PATRIOT Act was passed, four terrorist cells have been broken up inside the United States and more than 189 individuals have been convicted or pled guilty to terrorism-related offenses.
President Bush knows that America's firefighters, local law enforcement, and other first responders play a critical role in protecting the homeland. Hundreds of firefighters and police officers gave their lives to help their fellow citizens on September 11, 2001, and should another attack ever come, they will be first at the scene again. They must have the tools they need to perform their jobs as safely and effectively as possible. To this end, the President and Congress have massively increased spending for our nation's first responders. They have worked with governors, mayors, and tribal and local leaders to implement an integrated and federally supported approach to protecting communities.
- States and localities have received more than $13 billion since 2001.
- Assistance to Firefighter Grants are up 400 percent since 2001.
- State Domestic Preparedness funding is up more than 2,600 percent since 2001. President Bush has taken steps to send money to the areas that are most at risk of terrorist attack, and instituted measures to speed the money to the first responders on the ground.
President Bush has overhauled and greatly enhanced security at the nation's airports. Our infrastructure to protect airplanes, passengers, crews, and cargo from terrorist acts has never been stronger than it is today. Cockpit doors have been hardened, more than 5,000 air marshals and 45,000 federal screeners have been hired, new screening technology has been developed, and 100 percent of commercial air passengers and checked bags are now screened. As tagging and tracking citizens is inconsistent with American freedom, we oppose the creation of a national identification card or system.
Proposed funding for port security in 2005 represents a 600 percent increase since President Bush came to office. In addition, the Container Security Initiative ensures that:
- all cargo is now screened by customs agents;
- screening takes place in foreign ports, well before potentially dangerous cargo ever reaches our shores; and
- all high-risk cargo is physically inspected.
Our nation has been enriched by immigrants seeking a better life. In many cases, immigrants of the past fled violence and oppression searching for peace and freedom. All suffered and sacrificed but hoped for a better future for their children in America. Our nation has been enriched by their determination, energy, and diversity.
Ensuring the integrity of our borders is vital to ensuring the safety of our citizens. We must know the identity of all visitors who enter the United States, and we must know when they leave. The US-VISIT system, which uses biometric data to better track the entry and exit of foreign travelers, has been implemented at more than 115 airports and is presently being implemented at land border crossings. Reconnaissance cameras, border patrol agents, and unmanned aerial flights have all been increased at our borders.
We must strengthen our Border Patrol to stop illegal crossings, and we will equip the Border Patrol with the tools, technologies, structures, and sufficient force necessary to secure the border. We will seek stiff penalties for those who smuggle illegal aliens into the country and for those who sell fraudulent documents. We urge continued support for state, local, and federal law enforcement to work in a cohesive manner in securing our borders to prevent illegal entry.
Most critical infrastructure is not federally owned or operated, requiring cooperation from all levels of government and private industry for effective protection. As part of a nationwide review of critical infrastructure initiated by President Bush, due to be completed by December 2004, the Department of Homeland Security has already identified the highest-risk chemical sites and partnered with industry to enhance protections at those sites. We endorse the President's request to have the Department of Homeland Security establish minimum safety requirements at chemical plants and enforce compliance when voluntary measures are deemed inadequate.
It is no secret that the enemies of the United States are determined to acquire and use biological and chemical weapons. The potential exists for terrorists to use genetically engineered bioweapons that incorporate some of the deadliest diseases known to man, such as anthrax, ebola, smallpox, sarin, or ricin. Such weapons are capable of inflicting grievous harm on any nation caught unprepared. For this reason, President George W. Bush has long made bolstering the nation's defenses against bioterrorism a central focus of his Administration. President Bush has worked with the Congress to:
- increase the federal bioterrorism budget by more than 1,600 percent, from $294 million in 2001 to $5.2 billion in 2004;
- expand bioterror research by an even greater margin, from $53 million in 2001 to $1.7 billion in 2005, an increase of more than 3,100 percent;
- increase the size of the Strategic National Stockpile of vaccines and countermeasures by 50 percent since 2001; and
- further secure more than $5.5 billion to enhance the stockpile and to encourage the development of new vaccines and countermeasures.
Although there is no such thing as perfect safety from biological attacks, President Bush's historic commitment to building up the biological defenses of the United States has made us far less vulnerable to the threat of bioterrorism than we were just three years ago. The President's continuing commitment to implement further biodefense projects holds the promise of an even more secure future.
Republicans recognize the critical new role played by the U.S. Coast Guard in upholding America's maritime security against terrorist threats. Our nation saw the dedication and the versatility of the Coast Guard in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 – a performance that demonstrated the Coast Guard's vital contribution to homeland security. We applaud the men and women of the Coast Guard for rising to meet new challenges, even as they continue to accomplish traditional missions such as search and rescue, navigation assistance, drug interdiction, fisheries enforcement, and environmental protection. We also applaud the Coast Guard men and women who serve and have served in the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Under the leadership of President Bush and the Republican Congress, our nation has significantly increased budget support for the Coast Guard to achieve its expanded mission. We affirm the importance of continued strong support, including for efforts to recapitalize and enlarge the Coast Guard's fleet, a critical component of our overall national fleet. This should not be done at the expense of or by in any way reducing the U.S. Navy's shipbuilding program. Our nation asks much of the men and women of the Coast Guard – uniformed warfighters who serve on the front line of the War on Terror. We applaud the President and the Republican Congress for ensuring that the service has the resources needed to accomplish its expanded mission.
Republicans believe that just as our nation relies on our men and women in uniform to fight and win the War on Terror, we also depend on America's diplomats, who serve in the vanguard of our present struggle. Defeating terrorism requires the United States to:
- help establish stable and democratic governments in nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq that once supported terrorism;
- support front-line states and coalition partners;
- deepen counterterrorism, intelligence, and law enforcement cooperation with allies and friends; and
- energetically promote democracy, especially in the Broader Middle East.
In all of these areas and more, the professionals of America's foreign affairs agencies serve at the front line of advancing U.S. national interests and values. We salute their strong record of achievement during this consequential era of American foreign policy and support the efforts of President Bush and the Republican Congress to provide the Department of State funding sufficient to ensure the continued success of American diplomacy.
Republicans believe that intelligence – and how we use it – is our first line of defense against terrorists and the threat posed by hostile states.
The dedicated, hardworking men and women of our intelligence community are laboring every day to keep our country safe. Republicans are proud of their work and grateful for their service. America's intelligence professionals have been pivotal to the major successes in the War on Terror – disrupting multiple planned terrorist attacks around the world, continuing to expand our insight into terrorist organizations and plans, and greatly enhancing working relationships with foreign partners.
Working together, the President and the Republican Congress have steadfastly advanced toward the goal of an integrated, unified national intelligence effort. They have taken important steps to expand and strengthen America's intelligence system and capabilities, including reversing devastating cuts in the intelligence community budget and closing dangerous gaps between counterterrorism intelligence collected abroad and at home by creating the Terrorist Threat Integration Center and consolidating all U.S. government watchlist information on suspected terrorists in the new Terrorist Screening Center. They have also broken down the unnecessary "wall" between intelligence and law enforcement with the PATRIOT Act. Because it has proved to be instrumental in helping to break up terror cells and plots and seizing terrorist assets, Republicans believe that Congress needs to reauthorize this important law.
We applaud President Bush's continued strong leadership in intelligence reform. We share the guiding principles for reform that President Bush has laid out, including:
- increasing both the quality and quantity of human intelligence collection to disrupt terrorist attacks;
- investing more in our technical intelligence capabilities so that we stay ahead of our enemies' changing communications technology and tactics; and
- ensuring the most effective and coordinated use of these resources and personnel.
It is essential that the people in government responsible for defending America and countering terrorism have the best possible information to make the best decisions about the safety of our country. We therefore support President Bush's request to Congress to create the position of a National Intelligence Director to be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The National Intelligence Director will serve as the President's principal intelligence advisor and will oversee the foreign and domestic activities of the intelligence community.
We also support President Bush's plan to establish a National Counterterrorism Center that will build on the analytical work of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center and become our government's knowledge bank for information about known and suspected terrorists. The new center will coordinate and monitor counterterrorism plans and activities of all government agencies and departments to ensure effective joint action, and to ensure that our efforts are unified in priority and purpose. The center will also be responsible for preparing the daily terrorism threat report for the President and senior officials.
We also support President Bush's judgment that legislative oversight of intelligence and homeland security must be restructured and made more effective. Currently there are too many committees with overlapping jurisdiction, which wastes time and makes it difficult for meaningful oversight and reform.
Honoring and Supporting Our Armed Forces
America's men and women in uniform are currently on the front lines of the War on Terror. In the midst of a global struggle, the armed services continue to meet their goals for new recruits and retentions, and every American is grateful for the patriotism and honor of these soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. Republicans hail their historic achievements since September 11, 2001 – especially the removal of the repressive regimes of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. Their victories on the battlefield have not only made America safer but are making way for new governments in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are paving the way for societies that are free.
With the support of the Republican Congress, President Bush has consistently built defense strength. Defense spending has only been higher twice since World War II – during the Korean War and at the peak of the Cold War buildup. These long-overdue budget increases help fulfill the President's commitments and ensure a fighting force that is second to none.
In 2000, the President promised to provide members of the Armed Forces "better pay, better treatment, and better training." He has fulfilled that promise to our troops.
Supported by the Republican Congress, President Bush has increased basic pay by nearly 21 percent. Many servicemembers have seen much more than that. The increase in basic salary and payments for food and housing has reached nearly 30 percent. We hail those much-deserved increases, as well as the action of the President and the Republican Congress in this year's Defense Appropriations Act to fund permanent increases for the Family Separation Allowance and Imminent Danger Pay.
Until the mid-1990s, servicemembers who lived off-base were expected to pay for 15 percent of their housing costs. In reality, this cost grew to almost 20 percent. Republicans applaud the leadership of the President and the Republican Congress for making sure that by the end of 2005, out-of-pocket expenses will be eliminated, meaning that the average servicemember who lives off-base will have all basic housing costs covered.
President Bush and the Republican Congress have also increased funds for defense health programs, including improving medical services for Ready Reserve members and their families.
The men and women of the National Guard and Reserve are an important part of the nation's military readiness, and we will maintain their strength in the states. Their role as citizen soldiers must continue to be a proud tradition that links every community in the country with the cause of national security. We affirm traditional military culture, and we affirm that homosexuality is incompatible with military service. The Republican Party created the all-volunteer force and opposes reinstitution of the draft, whether directly or through compulsory national service. We support the advancement of women in the military, support their exemption from ground combat units, and support the implementation of the recommendations of the Kassebaum Commission, which unanimously recommended that co-ed basic training be ended. We support sound priorities in the making of personnel policies, and candid analysis of the consequences of unprecedented social changes in the military.
As the traditional advocate of America's veterans, the Republican Party has continued to fulfill America's obligations to them. When President Bush took office, many of the programs designed to assist veterans cried out for modernization and reform. President Bush and Congress have increased funding for VA health care by more than 40 percent since 2001. This additional funding has made it possible for the VA to improve health care access for veterans who need it most, including low-income veterans, those with service-related disabilities, and those who need VA's specialized services. President Bush signed into law authorization for the concurrent receipt of both military retired pay and VA disability compensation for combat-injured and highly-disabled veterans. We support these actions to keep faith with America's veterans and applaud President Bush and the Republican Congress for attending to the solemn duty of maintaining and expanding our national cemeteries.
In promising "better training," the President committed to strengthen the military readiness of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. Since taking office, the President has added billions to operations and maintenance accounts to make good on this promise. This investment is paying off as critical readiness indicators are improving. However, the real proof of military readiness is combat performance. Our combined military forces have demonstrated overwhelming combat effectiveness in Afghanistan, Iraq, and in other operations around the world. The readiness of U.S. Armed Forces to carry out combat operations anywhere in the world is now unparalleled.
The vast majority of Americans agree that when our troops are engaged in battle, we have a responsibility to provide everything they need to complete their mission. It is irresponsible for public officials to support sending Americans into battle and then reject the funding they need for such things as ammunition, body armor, and better health care for their dependents. We call to account the Democratic nominees for President and Vice President, both of whom voted to authorize war in Iraq then later rejected legislation to provide $87 billion in critical supplies and benefits for servicemembers and their families. Earlier this year, Senator Kerry claimed to have "voted for the $87 billion before [he] voted against it." Recently he said he was "proud" of his vote against supporting our troops. And in yet another attempt to explain his irresponsible vote, Senator Kerry claimed his decision was "complicated." Republicans affirm that there is nothing complicated about supporting soldiers in battle. America's Commander in Chief must always support the men and women on the frontlines, and we applaud President Bush for his steadfast support of our military.
President Bush also fulfilled his promise to begin transforming how our nation organizes and equips itself to fight 21st Century adversaries. Leveraging rapidly changing technology with flexible organizations and adaptable doctrine, the President and the Republican Congress have led the transformation of the U.S. military to become lighter, faster, and more lethal. To support the President's transformational goals, the Administration has worked with the Republican Congress to:
- double investment in missile defense systems to put America on track to field an operational system in 2004;
- dramatically increase R&D investments;
- commit a significant amount of the procurement budget to transformation; and
- pursue transformational programs across the services such as the Army's Future Combat System, the Navy's conversion of ballistic missile submarines to guided missile submarines, and the Air Force's unmanned combat aerial vehicles.
In December 2002, President Bush directed the deployment of a missile defense system to protect the United States from the threat of long-range missiles with the ability to deliver weapons of mass destruction. The 2005 Defense Appropriations Act provides $10 billion for systems to defend against the threat from ballistic missiles. Later this year, the first components of America's missile defense system will become operational. This will fulfill a pledge that President Bush made to the American people more than four years ago. America and our allies face a deadly threat from ballistic missiles armed with the world's most dangerous weapons. Republicans affirm that America must deploy the technologies necessary to protect our people.
Republicans applaud President Bush's announcement of the most comprehensive restructuring of U.S. military forces overseas since the end of the Korean War. By closing bases overseas that are no longer needed to meet Cold War threats that have ended, his new initiative will bring home many Cold War-era forces while deploying more flexible and rapidly deployable capabilities in strategic locations around the world. The plan will make America safer by better preparing our military to address the new dangers associated with rogue nations, global terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction. It will also give our servicemembers more time on the home front and fewer moves over a career. It will give military spouses fewer job changes and offer greater stability for their families. It will save the taxpayers money by closing hundreds of unneeded facilities around the world.
Republicans know that workers in the defense industry and broader civilian sector – including manufacturing workers, engineers, scientists, and farmers – who supply our Armed Forces with cutting-edge weapons, combat materiel, and sustenance are also vital to the success of our troops on the battlefield. We hail their indispensable contributions to victory in the War on Terror.
Building a Better World Based on Democratic Governments, Free Markets, and International Compassion
Republicans applaud President Bush for launching groundbreaking efforts to address the needs and hopes of the world's poor, cutting across traditional boundaries to focus on what works. We agree with President Bush that the United States must use this moment of opportunity to extend the benefits of freedom across the globe – by actively working to bring the hope of democracy, development, free markets, and free trade to every corner of the world.
The events of September 11, 2001, taught us that weak states, like Afghanistan, can pose as great a danger to our national interests as strong states. Poverty does not make poor people into terrorists and murderers. Yet poverty, weak institutions, and corruption can make weak states vulnerable to terrorist networks and drug cartels within their borders.
Republicans believe that a world where some live in comfort and plenty, while half of the human race lives on less than $2 a day, is neither just nor stable. We applaud President Bush and the Republican Congress for their leadership and moral clarity in making the inclusion of all of the world's poor in an expanding circle of development – and opportunity – one of the top priorities of U.S. international policy.
Decades of massive development assistance have failed to spur economic growth in the poorest countries. Worse, development aid has often served to prop up failed policies, relieving the pressure for reform and perpetuating misery. Results of aid are typically measured in dollars spent by donors, not in the rates of growth and poverty reduction achieved by recipients. These are the indicators of a failed strategy.
Working with other nations, and under the leadership of President Bush and the Republican Congress, the United States has confronted this failure. President Bush helped to forge a new consensus at the United Nations Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey that the objectives of assistance – and the strategies to achieve those objectives – must change.
Republicans support the President's goal to help unleash the productive potential of individuals in all nations. Sustained growth and poverty reduction are impossible without the right national policies. Where governments have implemented real policy changes, we will provide significant new levels of assistance. The United States and other developed countries should set an ambitious and specific target: to double the size of the world's poorest economies within a decade.
We endorse the strategies that the United States is pursuing to achieve this goal, including:
- providing resources through the Millennium Challenge Account to aid countries that have met the challenge of reform;
- improving the effectiveness of the World Bank and other development banks in raising living standards;
- insisting upon measurable results to ensure that development assistance is actually making a difference in the lives of the world's poor;
- increasing the amount of development assistance that is provided in the form of grants instead of loans; • opening societies to commerce and investment;
- enhancing public health in countries afflicted by epidemics and pandemics like HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis;
- emphasizing education, literacy, and learning as the foundation of democracy and development; and
- continuing to aid agricultural development.
Republicans know that a strong world economy enhances our national security by advancing prosperity and freedom in the rest of the world. Economic growth supported by free trade and free markets creates new jobs and higher incomes. It allows people to lift their lives out of poverty, spurs economic and legal reform, enhances the fight against corruption, and reinforces the habits of liberty.
Under Republican leadership, the United States has fostered an environment of economic openness to capitalize on our country's greatest asset in the information age: a vital, innovative society that welcomes creative ideas and adapts to them. American companies continue to show the world innovative ways to improve productivity and redraw traditional business models. Upon this extraordinary foundation, President Bush and the Republican Congress have rebuilt an effective American trade policy. Rooted in America's political and economic ideals, the Republican blueprint they have implemented promotes open markets and open societies, free trade and the free flow of information, and the development of new ideas and private sectors. This self-sustaining economic and commercial progress has nurtured the human spirit, the middle class, law, and liberty.
Republicans applaud the renewal of the executive-Congressional partnership on trade matters under Republican leadership. After a gap of eight years, the Administration reestablished majority support in the Congress for free and fair trade by passing Trade Promotion Authority and the other market-opening measures for developing countries in the Trade Act of 2002.
We commend the strong record of President Bush and the Republican Congress in using their authority to promote economic growth and economic freedom beyond America's shores, especially through free trade initiatives. We support the Administration's comprehensive strategy to promote free trade, exemplified by the launch of the Doha negotiation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), regional and sub-regional initiatives such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, and the Middle East Free Trade Area, extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and the conclusion of bilateral free trade agreements with nations such as Australia, Morocco, Chile, and Singapore.
We hail the strong record of President Bush and the Republican Congress in:
- completing agreements with 12 countries, and currently negotiating with 10 other nations, to reduce trade barriers – together, these 22 nations represent America's third largest export market, with economies totaling $2.5 trillion in purchasing power;
- enforcing trade agreements and laws against unfair practices, including staunch opposition to regulations that impede farm exports and improved agriculture; • opposing unfair manipulation of currency rates by U.S. trading partners; and
- taking timely action to help domestic industries and workers adjust to foreign competition, including through safeguard actions in support of America's manufacturing sector and trade adjustment assistance for workers;
- incorporating appropriate labor and environmental concerns into U.S. trade negotiations, promoting mutually supportive trade and environmental policies and agreements; and
- using the International Labor Organization, trade preference programs, and trade talks to improve working conditions in conjunction with freer trade.
We recognize that there is a fundamental connection between trade and development. Trade policies can help developing countries strengthen property rights, competition, the rule of law, investment, the spread of knowledge, open societies, the efficient allocation of resources, and regional integration – all leading to growth, opportunity, and confidence in developing countries. We therefore welcome the Republican-led reauthorization in the Trade Act of 2002 of preference programs with the nations of the Caribbean and Andean regions.
Steady American Leadership in the World
We affirm America's role in leading the world toward greater freedom, opportunity, and prosperity. Our efforts to expand the reach of economic and political freedom are complemented by our work in fostering religious liberty. Republicans will continue to make the protection and promotion of religious freedom abroad a cardinal principle of our foreign policy. This reflects our national values and protects our national interests, and renders our actions in the world consistent with our ideals as a people. America is a working example of religious liberty, home to millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims, and people of many other faiths who live in harmony and contribute to our culture. In the President's words, "It is not an accident that freedom of religion is one of the central freedoms in our Bill of Rights. It is the first freedom of the human soul.… We must stand for that freedom in our country. We must speak for that freedom in the world." We applaud President Bush's record of accomplishment in broadening the realm of liberty and promoting prosperity and opportunity in the world, and we endorse his vision for the future.
Republicans are guided by the conviction that no nation can build a safer, better world alone. In addition to NATO, the Organization of American States, and other long-standing alliances, the United States is committed to lasting institutions like the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. While international organizations can serve the cause of peace, Republicans believe they can never serve as a substitute for, or exercise a veto over, principled American leadership. The United Nations was not designed to summon or lead armies in the field and, as a matter of U.S. sovereignty, American troops must never serve under United Nations command.
The United Nations can provide a valuable forum for nations to peacefully resolve their differences, and it can help monitor international agreements and organize international humanitarian assistance. Under Republican leadership, the United States will pay a fair, not disproportionate, share of dues to the United Nations, which must continue to reform its management and take steps to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse. All funds that the U.S. contributes for operations, conferences, and peacekeeping should count against these dues.
We hail the actions of President Bush and the Republican Congress to ensure that our nation's efforts to meet our global security commitments and protect Americans are not impaired by the potential for investigations, inquiry, or prosecution by the International Criminal Court, whose jurisdiction we do not accept as extending to Americans. We support full implementation of the American Servicemembers Protection Act, whose provisions are intended to ensure and enhance the protection of U.S. personnel and officials.
We applaud President Bush and the Republican Congress for working to end the unacceptable discrimination against Israel at the United Nations, by that institution's denying committee assignments to Israel. We welcome Israel's membership in the Western European and Others Group at the United Nations headquarters and urge its full acceptance at other United Nations venues. We support adoption of bipartisan legislation to withhold the annual headquarters contribution made by the U.S. Department of State to the International Committee of the Red Cross if Magen David Adom is not given the opportunity to participate fully in the activities of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Republicans continue to oppose the ideological campaign against participation by the Vatican in United Nations conferences and other activities. The United Nations was created to benefit all peoples and nations, not to promote a radical agenda of social engineering. Any effort to address global social problems must be firmly placed within a context of respect for the fundamental social institutions of marriage and family. We reject any treaty or convention that would contradict these values. For that reason, we support protecting the rights of families in international programs and oppose funding organizations involved in abortion.
Republicans support the leadership of President Bush and Vice President Cheney in speaking out honestly about violations of the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity using our voice and vote in international institutions to advance freedom. Worldwide, at least 600,000 to 800,000 human beings are trafficked across international borders each year. Of those, it is believed that more than 80 percent are women and girls, and that 70 percent of them were forced into sexual servitude. We applaud the President for his efforts to rally the international community, including at the United Nations, in combating human trafficking, for his call to the nations of the world to pass laws criminalizing these abhorrent practices, and for working with Republicans in Congress to provide the funds necessary to combat trafficking on the international level. We also praise President Bush for his efforts at home, where he has tripled the number of traffickers criminally charged and doubled the number of convictions, while supporting the good work of organizations that are rescuing women and children from exploitation.
Neighborhood of the Americas
Republicans believe that sound American foreign policy starts in our own neighborhood. Family and faith, culture and commerce, are enduring bonds among all the peoples of the Americas. Our nation's future is fundamentally linked to our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere. Republicans share President Bush's vision of the Americas as a fully democratic hemisphere, working together to achieve representative democracy, security, and market-based development. We also applaud his proven track record in advancing trade liberalization in the Americas in order to promote economic development and democratic governance.
We praise President Bush's strong record of serious and sustained attention to the American neighborhood and coalition-building with countries such as Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Chile, and Colombia that share our democratic priorities.
Under President Bush's leadership, the United States and Mexico have developed a historic level of trust and mutual respect. Strengthened by common values and purposes, this relationship has provided an unprecedented degree of bilateral cooperation. Republicans believe that it is a high national priority for America to continue building on that cooperation with Mexico over the coming years to ensure safe, orderly, and legal migration flows; further reduce the cost of remittances; expand access to credit for small business entrepreneurs; and further strengthen bilateral ties in education, civil society, housing, agriculture, infrastructure, communications, and information technologies. Republicans also recognize that as a respected voice in the region, Mexico will continue to be a vital partner in supporting democracy throughout the hemisphere, as demonstrated by Mexico's contributions to regional and multilateral approaches in Bolivia and Venezuela.
Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the United States has received excellent cooperation from our hemispheric partners to combat terror in North America. In particular, our longstanding allies Canada and Mexico have been steadfast partners in joint efforts to enhance border security, while ensuring that the swift pace of legal movement of people and goods along our land borders is maintained.
Republicans applaud Canada's contributions to the War on Terror, not only as a partner in the Americas but as a steadfast transatlantic ally, including in deployments during Operation Enduring Freedom and in the current NATO-led operation in Afghanistan. We also appreciate the continuing participation of El Salvador in the multinational force in Iraq, as well as the past contributions of the Dominican Republic and Honduras in support of the goal of stability and democracy for the Iraqi people.
Republicans support the leadership of the President and the Republican Congress to advance prosperity throughout the Americas through free trade. We applaud the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement implemented by the Bush Administration – the first such agreement with a South American nation in U.S. history. We also applaud President Bush's conclusion of a free trade agreement with six countries in our neighborhood – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. We support the President's goal of negotiating free trade agreements with Panama and the Andean nations. These initiatives complement the goal of achieving a genuine, comprehensive free trade area in the hemisphere. As Republicans, we believe that the Free Trade Area of the Americas is the best route to achieving that goal.
Our Party believes that the United States must continue to support the democracies of South America with strong economic and security assistance. We therefore endorse the increased support that the President and the Republican Congress have provided to Colombia in the fight against narco-terrorists, in the eradication of coca and poppy crops, and in the interdiction of illicit drugs and the extradition of criminals. We also support the Bush Administration's active strategy to help the Andean nations adjust their economies, enforce their laws, defeat terrorist organizations, and cut off the supply of illegal drugs.
We share President Bush's commitment to strengthening the region's democratic institutions by working with leaders in the region to promote good governance and combat corruption. We applaud the Administration's work with regional institutions, such as the Summit of the Americas process, the Organization of American States, and the Defense Ministerial of the Americas. Republicans support the Bush Administration's efforts to achieve a peaceful, democratic, constitutional, and electoral solution to Venezuela's political crisis.
The Castro regime is an anachronism in a region where democracy and open markets prevail. The current political and economic crisis in Cuba reflects four decades of Castro's failed policies. The Cuban government rightfully remains on the State Department's Terrorist List due to its continued support for terrorism, including the harboring of fugitives from justice wanted in the United States for terrorism-related offenses. The Castro regime continues to pursue policies of Marxist-Leninist dictatorship, police state tactics, and total economic control. Because of these policies, the Castro regime remains hostile to America's interests and values.
As Republicans, we support President Bush's principled position that the current embargo on trade with, and restrictions on travel to, Cuba must remain in place as along as the Cuban government refuses to hold free and fair elections, ease its stranglehold on private enterprise, and allow the Cuban people to organize, assemble, and speak freely.
Republicans understand that the Castro regime will not change by its own choice. But Cuba must change. That is why we support President Bush's decision to provide additional resources for:
- democracy-building activities in Cuba, support for the family members of the political opposition, and support for efforts to help youth, women, and Afro-Cubans take their rightful place in the pro-democracy movement
- regular airborne broadcasts to Cuba and the purchase of a dedicated airborne platform for the transmission of Radio and Television Martí into Cuba; and
- public diplomacy efforts to disseminate information abroad about Castro's record of abusing human rights, harboring terrorists, committing espionage against other countries, and fomenting subversion of democratically elected governments in Latin America.
Republicans applaud the work of the President's Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, which identified measures to help the Cuban people bring to an end the Castro dictatorship and provided a plan for agile, effective, and decisive assistance to the people of Cuba when they have finally achieved freedom and democracy. We support the Commission's recommendations, which include:
- denying resources and legitimacy to the Castro regime by eliminating abuses of educational travel programs;
- countering the regime's manipulation of our humanitarian policies by limiting recipients of remittances and gift parcels to immediate family members; and
- limiting family visits to Cuba to immediate family.
Republicans also support efforts to increase the number of new migrants admitted from Cuba through a safe, legal, and orderly process and believe that the United States should adhere to the principles established by the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, which recognizes the rights of Cuban refugees fleeing communist tyranny.
Republicans applaud the strong support President Bush has demonstrated for the people of Haiti and agree that it is essential that Haiti have a hopeful future. We support the President's leadership of multilateral efforts to bring order and stability to Haiti and assist the Haitian people in achieving a democratic and constitutional government. American troops and their partners in the initial stabilization force from France, Canada, and Chile responded swiftly and humanely to the needs of the Haitian people. We applaud the contributions of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Canada, Spain, and other nations to the current peacekeeping force, as well as financial pledges from the international community to provide economic and humanitarian assistance to the Haitian people.
Republicans believe that because Africans and Americans share a belief in the values of liberty and dignity, we must share in the labor of advancing those values. We endorse President Bush's conviction that in a time of growing commerce across the globe, America must work to ensure that the nations of Africa are full partners in the trade and prosperity of the world. Under the leadership of President Bush and the Republican Congress, our nation is standing together with leaders in Africa against the tragic violence of civil war and against the merciless terrorists who threaten every nation. We are answering the challenge of desperate hunger with human compassion and the tools of human technology. In the face of spreading disease, we are joining with courageous people throughout the continent who are turning the tide against HIV/AIDS in Africa.
We applaud the President's leadership in establishing an unprecedented level of engagement with Africa, exemplified by the high priority placed on dialogue between the President and his African counterparts and supported by historic initiatives such as the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and the African Education Initiative. We further commend President Bush for visiting South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Botswana, and Uganda last year – the first Republican President to do so.
Republicans believe that South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia are leaders for regional engagement and require focused attention. We applaud the President and the Republican Congress for deepening American engagement with those nations. Republicans also applaud increased support for African nations that have chosen the path of economic, political, and social reform and are therefore eligible for funding from the MCA: Senegal, Ghana, Benin, Cape Verde, Mali, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Lesotho. We believe that to be effective, development aid requires pro-growth policies and strong reforms in the nations that receive aid. We endorse the MCA's direction of resources to countries with governments that rule justly, root out corruption, encourage entrepreneurship, and invest in the health and education of their people.
Republicans also applaud the strong record of President Bush and the Republican Congress in promoting development and economic growth in Africa as a means to eradicating poverty and encouraging the habits of freedom and enterprise. The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is bringing hundreds of thousands of jobs and investment opportunity to sub-Saharan Africa. Under President Bush's leadership, Congress has extended AGOA beyond 2008 – an achievement that will help give businesses the confidence to make long-term investments in Africa. Republicans believe that the United States must continue to work to complete a free trade agreement with the nations of the Southern African Customs Union to create new opportunities for farmers and workers and entrepreneurs all across Africa. We also applaud the efforts of the Bush Administration to strengthen and broaden capital markets on the continent. With the ability to borrow money to buy homes and to start businesses, more Africans will have the tools to achieve their dreams.
Republicans also commend President Bush and the Republican Congress for helping to provide Africa's children with the advantages of literacy and basic education through the Africa Education Initiative. This important initiative will provide teacher training, textbooks, and scholarships for girls to improve primary education on the continent.
Many of Africa's leaders are committed to the spread of democratic institutions and democratic values throughout their continent. Yet those institutions and values are threatened in some parts of Africa by terrorism, chaos, and civil war. To extend liberty in Africa, we must help African leaders who seek to achieve security and peace on the continent.
Republicans believe that together with our allies and friends, America must help strengthen Africa's fragile states, help build indigenous capability to secure porous borders, and help build up the law enforcement and intelligence infrastructures to deny havens for terrorists. An ever more lethal environment exists in Africa as local civil wars spread beyond borders to create regional war zones. Forming coalitions and cooperative security arrangements is key to confronting these emerging transnational threats.
We welcome President Bush's leadership in the establishment of a consensus among the G-8 nations to support peacekeeping capabilities among the nations of Africa, so that they may more effectively prevent and resolve violent conflict on the continent.
Republicans applaud President Bush's strong record of promoting regional peace and stability and helping to end conflict and war on the continent. Working in concert with allies, friends, and international institutions, the Bush Administration has helped achieve progress toward resolving conflicts in Liberia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, and Sudan.
We applaud the efforts of the Bush Administration in working closely with the Government of Sudan and the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement to bring peace to Sudan. Sudan's civil war is one of the worst humanitarian tragedies of our time, responsible for the deaths of two million people over two decades. Achieving peace, and concluding a just and comprehensive agreement, must be an urgent priority for both sides in Sudan. President Bush has made peace in Sudan a top priority of his foreign policy, including the appointment of a Special Envoy to facilitate discussions and the signing of the Sudan Peace Act. The President's commitment has paved the way for significant progress and we welcome continued movement this year toward a comprehensive peace agreement that will put an end to 20 years of conflict in southern Sudan.
We commend the efforts of the President and the Republican Congress to help the people of Darfur, in western Sudan. Brutal militias there are causing human suffering on an immense scale. American assistance has been provided for famine relief, assistance for refugees, and other humanitarian aid. Yet no amount of aid can substitute for true and lasting peace. The Government of Sudan must stop the violence of Janjaweed militias, and all parties must respect the cease-fire and allow the free movement of humanitarian workers and supplies. We continue to hope for peace for the people of Sudan and for normalization of relations between Sudan and the United States. However, the Government of Sudan must not remain complicit in the brutalization of Darfur.
Republicans deplore the Government of Zimbabwe's refusal to adhere to the rule of law. The Bush Administration has rightly condemned the Government of Zimbabwe's assaults against human rights. We support the President's decision to suspend non-humanitarian aid and impose targeted sanctions on the Zimbabwean regime and its supporters.
Republicans recognize that several African governments face particular dangers from terrorists, including in East Africa. The Bush Administration is working closely with those nations to fight terror, and the Republican Congress has expanded efforts to help governments in East Africa protect their people and to fight terrorist networks. We will not allow terrorists to threaten African peoples, or to use Africa as a base to threaten the world. We hail the continuing cooperation of Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda, Tanzania, and other African nations in the War on Terror.
Republicans are proud of President Bush's historic leadership that has placed America at the forefront of helping the people of Africa, their governments, and private groups combat the catastrophic HIV/AIDS pandemic. We hail the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a five-year, $15 billion initiative, strongly backed by the Congress, to turn the tide against HIV/AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the Caribbean. By undertaking a comprehensive approach to the pandemic that involves education, abstinence, prevention, testing, treatment, and care – including advanced antiretroviral drugs – the President's groundbreaking initiative follows in the finest American tradition of harnessing the power of human technology in the service of human compassion. We also applaud other major steps by President Bush and the Republican Congress to make fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic a priority of U.S. foreign policy, including America's contribution to the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and other initiatives.
The United States is leading the world by example and the global community can – and must – do more to halt the advance of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. We applaud the numerous African, American, and other international private organizations – including faith-based groups, hospitals, medical schools, corporations, and philanthropies – that are helping the people of Africa as they fight HIV/AIDS with courage. The progress we are already seeing in parts of Africa is proof that HIV/AIDS can be defeated.
Across the Pacific
Republicans believe that, as in every region of the world, America's foreign policy in Asia starts with its allies: Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines. In the Asia-Pacific region, these alliances are bolstered by strong relationships with American friends such as Singapore, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, and New Zealand.
President Bush has demonstrated a clear commitment to the region, and Republicans recognize that under his leadership, alliance relations in Asia have never been better. In every major security issue of our time – including counterterrorism, nonproliferation, Iraq, and North Korea – our allies in Asia are providing unprecedented cooperation. The Republican Party hails the brave and energetic response of America's allies in the Asia-Pacific region in the wake of the September 11th attacks.
- Australia invoked the ANZUS Treaty to declare that the September 11th attacks were attacks on Australia itself, following that historic decision with the dispatch of some of the world's finest combat forces for Operation Enduring Freedom.
- Japan and the Republic of Korea provided unprecedented levels of military logistical support within weeks of the terrorist attacks.
- America has deepened cooperation on counterterrorism with our alliance partners in Thailand and the Philippines and received invaluable assistance from close friends like Singapore and New Zealand.
Republicans also applaud Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and other nations in the Asia-Pacific region for their contributions to the multinational effort to achieve security and democracy for the Iraqi people.
Japan is a key partner of the United States and the U.S.-Japan alliance is an important foundation of peace, stability, security, and prosperity in Asia. America supports an economically vibrant and open Japan that serves as an engine of expanding prosperity and trade in the Asia-Pacific region. Republicans support an American policy in the Asia-Pacific region that looks to Japan to continue forging a leading role in regional and global affairs based on our common interests, our common values, and our close defense and diplomatic cooperation.
The Republic of Korea is a valued democratic ally of the United States. Our two nations are maintaining vigilance toward North Korea while preparing our alliance to make contributions to the broader stability of the region over the longer term. In concert with America's allies South Korea and Japan, and supported by China and Russia, our nation is leading the international community to speak with one voice to demand the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear programs. Republicans support the Bush Administration's efforts to protect the peace on the Korean peninsula. North Korea lies outside of the international system. Americans have shed their blood to stop North Korean aggression before and remain prepared to resist aggression today.
After fighting together in both world wars, the United States forged a formal alliance with Australia. Australians have stood shoulder to shoulder with Americans in every major conflict since – Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War, and now Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Republicans hail the signing into law of the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement and look forward to building on more than 50 years of alliance cooperation to resolve regional and global problems.
American ties to the Philippines have been close for more than a hundred years. We Republicans have supported the victory of Filipino democracy and cherish our continuing friendship with this great nation and its people who have been by our side in war and in peace.
Under President Bush's leadership, the United States has undertaken an historic transformation in its bilateral relationship with India, based upon his conviction that U.S. interests require a strong relationship between the world's largest democracies. Since 2001, the United States has started with a view of India as a growing world power with which we have common security interests and a shared, fundamental commitment to political freedom and representative government. Through a strong partnership with India, we can best address any differences and shape a dynamic future. The prospects for that partnership were further enhanced by the announcement this January of the "Next Steps in Strategic Partnership" between the United States and India, a new effort to further deepen and accelerate cooperation between our two nations.
Republicans applaud India's move toward greater economic freedom. We hold a common interest in the free flow of commerce, including through the vital sea lanes of the Indian Ocean. Bilateral trade between the U.S. and India increased from $15.9 billion in 2002 to nearly $18 billion in 2003, with U.S. exports to India increasing by 22 percent, the largest increase ever. Finally, we share the commitment to fighting terrorism and creating a strategically stable Asia.
Republicans support President Bush's view that America must maintain forces in the Asia-Pacific region that reflect our commitments to our allies, our security requirements, our technological advances, and the strategic environment. America will also build on stability provided by our Asian alliances, as well as with institutions such as ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, to develop a mix of regional and bilateral strategies to advance progress and deepen our ties to the peoples of this region.
Republicans applaud President Bush for his leadership in dramatically refashioning America's relationship with Pakistan. The United States and Pakistan are working closely in the fight against terror. We endorse continued American support for Pakistan's security, economic, and social programs.
Republicans believe that America's relationship with China is an important part of our strategy to promote a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Asia-Pacific region. We welcome the emergence of a strong, peaceful, and prosperous China. The democratic development of China is crucial to that future. Yet, a quarter-century after beginning the process of shedding the worst features of the Communist legacy, China's leaders have not yet made the next series of fundamental choices about the character of their state. In pursuing advanced military capabilities that can threaten its neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region, China is following an outdated path that, in the end, will hamper its own pursuit of national greatness. In time, China will find that social and political freedoms are the only source of that greatness.
Under President Bush's leadership, the United States has sought a constructive relationship with a changing China. Our two nations have cooperated well where our interests overlap, including the current War on Terror and in promoting stability on the Korean peninsula. Likewise, we have coordinated on the future of Afghanistan and have initiated a comprehensive dialogue on counterterrorism. Shared health and environmental threats, such as the threat of HIV/AIDS, SARS, and other infectious diseases, challenge us to promote jointly the welfare of our citizens.
Addressing these transnational threats will challenge China to become more open with information, promote the development of civil society, enhance individual human rights, and end suppression of the media. To make that nation accountable to its citizens' needs and aspirations, much work remains to be done. Only by allowing the Chinese people to think, speak, assemble, and worship freely can China reach its full potential. China has discovered that economic freedom leads to national wealth. China's leaders will also discover that freedom is indivisible – that social and religious freedoms are also essential to national greatness and national dignity. Eventually, men and women who are allowed to control their own wealth will insist on controlling their own lives and their own country.
Our important bilateral trade relationship has benefited from China's entry into the World Trade Organization, creating export opportunities and jobs for American farmers, workers, and companies. The power of market principles and the WTO's requirements for transparency and accountability have bolstered openness and the rule of law in China. Republicans support the commitment of President Bush and Republicans in Congress to ensure that China fulfills its WTO obligations.
There are, however, other areas in which we have profound disagreements, including human rights, China's observance of its nonproliferation commitments, and America's commitment to the self-defense of Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act.
We support President Bush's efforts to narrow differences where they exist but not to allow them to preclude cooperation where there is agreement.
The United States government's policy is that there is one China, as reflected in the three communiqués and the Taiwan Relations Act. America opposes any unilateral decision by either China or Taiwan to change the status quo. Republicans recognize that America's policy is based on the principle that there must be no use of force by China against Taiwan. We deny the right of Beijing to impose its rule on the free Taiwanese people. All issues regarding Taiwan's future must be resolved peacefully and must be agreeable to the people of Taiwan. If China violates these principles and attacks Taiwan, then the United States will respond appropriately in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act. America will help Taiwan defend itself.
Republicans applaud President Bush and the Republican Congress for honoring our nation's promises to the people of Taiwan, a longstanding friend of the United States and a genuine democracy. Taiwan deserves America's strong support, including the timely sale of defensive arms to enhance Taiwan's security. In recognition of its growing importance in the global economy, Republicans applaud Taiwan's membership in the World Trade Organization and support its participation in the World Health Organization and other multilateral institutions.
America's relations with Vietnam are still overshadowed by two grave concerns. The first is uncertainty concerning the Americans who became prisoners of war or were missing in action. Republicans commend President Bush for enhancing efforts to obtain the fullest possible accounting for those still missing and for the repatriation of the remains of those who died in the cause of freedom. The second is continued retribution by the government of Vietnam against its ethnic minorities and others who fought alongside our forces there. The United States owes those individuals a debt of honor and will not be blind to their suffering.
The Republican Party is committed to democracy in Burma, and to Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratic leaders whose election in 1990 was brutally suppressed and who have been arrested and imprisoned for their belief in freedom and democracy. Republicans share with her the view that the basic principles of human freedom and dignity are universal. We are committed to working with our allies in Europe and Asia to maintain a firm and resolute opposition to the military junta in Rangoon.
Because of the strategic location and historical ties of the Pacific island nations to the United States, Republicans will continue to work closely with the countries of this region on a wide variety of issues of common concern.
Republicans applaud President Bush for the visionary agenda he set forth at the beginning of his Administration: the establishment of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. That agenda is in the finest tradition of America's historical commitment to the freedom and security of Europe. It builds on the legacy of the courageous and resolute leadership of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, through which the Cold War was won.
We hail the President's success in achieving unprecedented cooperation with Europe – at NATO, through the European Union, and with individual nations – in combating terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, building peace and democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and advancing the cause of freedom, democracy, and opportunity throughout the broader Middle East and North Africa. In particular, we are grateful for the close friendship and strong partnership with the United Kingdom, upholding the tradition of a special relationship between our two nations. Together and with strong U.S. leadership, America and Europe are decisively confronting the greatest challenges and boldly seizing the historic opportunities of our time.
We believe that the security of the United States is inseparable from the security of Europe. This enduring truth was reaffirmed by our European allies after the attacks of September 11, 2001, when NATO invoked its Article V self-defense clause for the first time in the history of the Alliance, recognizing that the attack on America was also an attack on the Alliance as a whole.
Republicans know that a strong NATO is the foundation of peace in Europe and beyond. We commend NATO's leadership of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan – a mission that has been led in the past by the United Kingdom, Turkey, Germany, and the Netherlands and is being supported by European partners such as Ireland, Albania, and Croatia. We applaud the establishment of a NATO operation to train Iraqi security forces. We hail those NATO nations and NATO partners that are contributing forces to Iraq, including the Polish-led division for which the Alliance has provided technical support.
Republicans remain steadfast supporters of NATO enlargement. We recall that the leadership of a Republican Senate helped Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary return to the Euro-Atlantic Community through membership in the Alliance. We hail the President's leadership in NATO's decision to welcome seven new democracies into the Alliance this year – Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Republicans support the continued enlargement of NATO to include other democratic nations willing and able to share the burden of defending and advancing our common interests.
Republicans recognize and applaud the fact that especially since September 11, 2001, some of America's strongest allies and friends have been the democracies of Central and Eastern Europe – many of whom inspired the world during the Cold War by assaulting the Iron Curtain again and again until it finally crashed down forever. Republicans hail the participation in the multinational coalition in Iraq of NATO members that joined the Alliance in 1999 and 2004 – Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia – as well as the contributions of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Albania, and Macedonia. Through their dedication to the cause of security and freedom in Iraq, these nations – together with the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, and Norway – are demonstrating their commitment to the values shared by members of the transatlantic community. We also applaud the contribution of forces in Iraq by Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan and support strengthening NATO's partnerships with these nations and their neighbors in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
President Bush is forging a new relationship with Russia based on the central reality that the United States and Russia are no longer strategic adversaries. We hail the President's visionary leadership in reassessing the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which was a relic of the Cold War and treated Russia as an enemy. The President has strengthened this new relationship by concluding the historic Moscow Treaty on Strategic Reductions, which will reduce the nuclear arsenals of our two nations to their lowest levels in decades. President Bush is rightly refocusing the relationship on emerging and potential common interests and challenges, especially broadening our already extensive cooperation in the War on Terror and promoting beneficial bilateral trade and investment relations. At the same time, Republicans believe that Russia's uneven commitment to the basic values of democracy remains a matter of great concern. We continue to support the independence and stability of the states of the former Soviet Union in the belief that a prosperous and stable neighborhood will reinforce Russia's integration into the Euro-Atlantic community.
Republicans recognize and hail President Bush's use of the prestige and influence of the United States to support the efforts of leaders in Ireland and the United Kingdom and the many other people of goodwill who are working to achieve a lasting and peaceful settlement in Northern Ireland. We endorse President Bush's personal reaffirmation of America's commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and to its full and complete implementation, as expressed during his visit to Northern Ireland in April 2003. We applaud the President's appointment of a Special Envoy for Northern Ireland, who is participating in the peace process and supporting efforts of Ireland and the United Kingdom to restore the democratic process in Northern Ireland. We share the President's commitment that America's support for this vital work will continue.
Republicans support America's commitment to Northern Ireland's economic development, including our nation's contributions to the International Fund for Ireland and private U.S. investment in the North, with care to ensure fair employment and better opportunities for all. Though the burdens of history weigh heavily upon that land, we cheer its people for taking the lead in building for themselves and for their children a future of peace and understanding.
Our Party continues to support a peaceful settlement for Cyprus and respect by all parties for the wishes of the Cypriot people. A fair and lasting Cyprus settlement will benefit the people of Cyprus, as well as serve the interests of America and our allies, Greece and Turkey.
The Broader Middle East and North Africa
Republicans share President Bush's understanding that just as events in Europe determined the outcome of the Cold War, events in the broader Middle East will set the course for the victory of free nations in the War on Terror.
It is important to reaffirm that the war we wage against terrorists is not a battle of faiths. As the home to millions of Muslim believers, America welcomes the valuable role of Muslim leaders in promoting peace. We recognize that acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith. We know that in this struggle against terrorism free nations have strong allies, of every faith, including millions of people in the Middle East who want to live in freedom. As Republicans, we share the President's conviction that if that region grows in democracy, prosperity, and hope, the terrorist movement will lose its sponsors, lose its recruits, and lose the festering grievances that keep terrorists in business.
We affirm our support for President Bush's Forward Strategy of Freedom in the Middle East, as well as the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative adopted at the G-8 Summit this year.
Republicans support efforts by the President, Vice President, and Republican Congress to ensure that America takes the side of reformers who are committed to democratic change. We support doubling the budget for the National Endowment for Democracy and focusing its new work on bringing free elections, free markets, free speech, and free labor unions to the Middle East. We support the President's expansion of America's public diplomacy efforts, including the use of radio and television to broadcast uncensored information and a message of tolerance in Arabic and Persian to tens of millions of people.
We applaud the commitment represented by the President's Middle East Partnership Initiative, which funds economic, political, and educational reform efforts in the Middle East and champions opportunity for all people of the region, especially women and youth.
We are pleased that the momentum of freedom in the Middle East is beginning to benefit women. In Afghanistan, women are preparing to vote in free elections, having participated in the drafting of a new constitution and taken on key responsibilities in a liberated nation. Under the ruthless grip of the Taliban regime, Afghan girls were barred from getting an education, and women were banned from holding jobs and were publicly whipped when they did not follow the Taliban's rules. Afghanistan's new constitution affords equal rights to all Afghan citizens, and Afghan women are now being integrated into the economic, social, and political life of their liberated country. In Iraq, the systematic use of rape by Saddam Hussein's regime to dishonor families has ended, and the country's interim constitution guarantees all Iraqis the right to vote and makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender, ethnicity, or religion.
As a fundamental element of the President's strategy, Republicans support the expansion of economic opportunities for the peoples of the Middle East, including through free trade. We applaud the enactment of free trade agreements with Jordan and Morocco, and the completion of negotiations toward such an agreement with Bahrain. We support the President's goal of a Middle East Free Trade Area by 2013 and highlight the conclusion of Trade and Investment Framework Agreements with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Tunisia, among others. Republicans endorse continued assistance and support for countries that have made peace with Israel – led by Egypt and Jordan. We applaud the actions of President Bush and the Republican Congress to provide both nations with new grants and loan guarantees to promote economic reform measures.
The Republican Party shares President Bush's commitment to the security of America's democratic ally Israel and the safety of the Israeli people. We remain committed to ensuring that Israel maintains a qualitative edge in defensive technology over any potential adversaries.
We believe that terror attacks against Israelis are part of the same evil as the September 11, 2001, attacks against America. We recognize Israel's right to defend itself in the face of homicide bombings and other attacks against the people of Israel.
We are very concerned about the escalation of anti-Semitic violence worldwide, including in Europe. This violence has included physical assaults, use of weapons, arson of synagogues, and desecration of Jewish cemeteries and statues. We are proud of President Bush's outspoken condemnation of anti-Semitism. We share his conviction that anti-Semitism poisons public debates within democratic nations and that mankind must come together to fight such dark impulses.
We support President Bush's vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. However, as he observed in his remarks of June 24, 2002, for such a vision to become a reality, Palestinians need a new leadership, not compromised by terror. Like all other people, Palestinians deserve a government that serves their interests and listens to their voices. If Palestinians embrace democracy and the rule of law, confront corruption, and firmly reject terror, they can count on American support for the creation of a Palestinian state. The Bush Administration has been clear about the obligations of Arab nations in achieving peace in the Middle East.
Republicans agree with President Bush that Israel's plan to remove all settlements from Gaza and several settlements from the West Bank is a courageous step toward peace in the face of continuing terrorist violence. This initiative can stimulate progress toward peace as laid out in the Road Map launched by President Bush.
Republicans commend the government of Israel for its desire to pursue peace, even in the face of continuing terrorist attacks. This is demonstrated by steps Israel has taken, such as removing unauthorized outposts and improving the humanitarian situation by easing restrictions on the movement of Palestinians not engaged in terrorist activities.
Republicans agree with President Bush's assessment that an agreed, just, fair, and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue, as part of any final status agreement, will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel. We also share the President's view that as part of a final peace settlement, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949. All previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities. Republicans continue to support moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel's capital, Jerusalem.
In Iran, we continue to see a government that represses its people, pursues weapons of mass destruction, and supports terror. We also see Iranian citizens risking intimidation and death as they speak out for liberty, human rights, and democracy. The Iranian people have a right to choose their own government and determine their own destiny. We applaud President Bush's leadership in ensuring them that the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom, including by broadcasting uncensored information to the Iranian people nearly 24 hours a day. We also support the President's practice of forming policy toward Iran based on Iranian actions, not words, and applaud his Administration's progress in convincing America's friends and allies, most importantly in Europe, to join us in a firm, common approach to ending Iran's nuclear weapons programs. Under President Bush's leadership, the United States and our European allies are speaking as plainly as possible to the Iranians, making it absolutely clear that the development of a nuclear weapon in Iran is intolerable to the international community.