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Washington, D.C.- House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul participated in a panel at the 24th annual Milken Institute Global Conference entitled “National Security: A Bipartisan Priority.” The panel was moderated by The Wall Street Journal’s Gerard Baker and also included Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. (Ret.). The three panelists discussed the different national security threats currently facing the United States and how to best address them. 

Watch here

On China

“Deterrence is really the key here…They’re getting very provocative. Just recently, we’ve had 160 flights over Taiwanese airspace. I believe they’re testing, like Russia does too, any new president to…see if they’re strong. I think Afghanistan…diminished our standing on the world stage. And that’s probably why you saw this hypersonic missile being fired, [China is] testing. If they think they can invade, just like Hong Kong, without a shot fired, they would do it tomorrow.”

On Afghanistan

“I believe that the way this evacuation was done has emboldened our adversaries and that’s Russia, China, Iran…Ambassador Crocker and I wrote an op-ed in May in the New York Times we said,  ‘look, if you’re going to do this, be prepared for it. Get the American citizens out, get interpreters, our partners out, and build this ISR intelligence capability close by.’ None of that was done…[The American people] didn’t want…an unconditional surrender to the Taliban, leaving Americans behind enemy lines…The State Department, in my view, made a very bad calculation by not preparing for this.” 

On Iran 

“One thing that has to be very clear is that the United States and our allies will not tolerate a nuclear Iran…I think we keep the pressure on them, I think the Abraham Accords is a big breakthrough to help with this.”

On Russia 

“I did not think that was a good policy to allow [Nord Stream 2] to go forward. We did put a National Interest Waiver for the President, which is pretty standard, but we never dreamed that that would be waived. I don’t understand for the life of me how it’s in our national interest to allow Putin to complete his pipeline in Europe, making Europe now more dependent on Russia…In the NDAA I introduced an amendment to put the sanctions back on without the presidential waiver.”