Chief among the federal government’s responsibilities is maintaining national security. I believe in a strong national security apparatus that truly safeguards Americans. Here in Texas, we feel the need for border security acutely, but we must also insist on practical, effective security measures, not just ill-conceived posturing. Moreover, national security encompasses more than just physical border protection; it requires robust investment in cyber security and the maintenance of soft power as well as military might.

I agree with the experts when it comes to the President’s border wall. It is unfeasible as a practical matter and prohibitively expensive. It will do nothing to actually secure America and Americans. I believe in strong, multi-pronged border security making use of not just personnel and physical barriers, but also drones and new technologies as they apply.

We must employ and retain the best cyber-security analysts and computer scientists. The NSA is experiencing an unprecedented talent drain because of low morale and low pay. This leaves America more vulnerable to cyber intrusion than ever before. We must safeguard our elections, our infrastructure (like our power grid), and our commercial systems and cyber security is foundational to those efforts in the modern world.

I also believe national security requires both a strong military and a strong diplomatic corps. Current efforts to deplete the ranks of career diplomatic staff weaken America abroad and ultimately hamstring our ability to manage global conflicts that pose a national security threat here at home.

national security