I recently predicted that a severe escalation of Russia’s atrocities in Ukraine was coming.

Sadly, this prediction came to fruition. The last few days of increased indiscriminate shelling make that clear.

Here’s the stark reality: this situation was enabled and exacerbated by the current Administration’s weak leadership on the global stage.

American voters will face this stark choice in November: will they vote for those who support and follow this Administration and its foreign policy failures? Those who never said a word about accountability for the botched exit from Afghanistan, those who want to get back into the Iran Deal despite its blindingly obvious problems, and those who contributed to the sheer weakness that led to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine – they should not stay in office.

These same leaders who have failed us on the global stage are also failing us here at home: just look at energy prices, food prices, crime, and education. Failure at home is failure abroad, and vice versa.

I spent the last 14 years in the U.S. defense and intelligence community. I was born in Odesa, Ukraine while it was still under the Soviet regime. 

Given where I was born, I always reflect on how lucky I am to live in this country. When faced with problems, American citizens have access to a positive solution: voting. 

Voters should choose a new crop of leaders who have experience keeping America safe, like I do. For the sake of national security and prosperity, we need change – fast.

The issue I have heard most about when talking to voters is most certainly costs and inflation, and economic issues are certainly the primary focus of my campaign. But I know that without national security, we can never have economic security, and we are entering a uniquely dangerous moment.

This failure abroad directly and deeply impacts Americans and Northern Virginians. Russian aggression has impacted the global economy while we sit and watch our feckless leaders bumble. 

A dictator like Putin only responds to strong opposition. Our current Administration has not shown that strength and the current Congressman from Virginia’s 8th District apparently prefers this failed method of doing the country’s business. He does not have the background, experience, or political affiliations to help keep America safe.

I do. 

I served in our defense and intelligence communities for 14 years. I have already been cleared beyond a Top Secret level, so I am ready to pitch in and keep America safe on day one. I also have the personal background of growing up in Soviet-controlled Ukraine to understand the clear and present threat Russia and Putin pose.

Right now, it is the amazing resolve of the Ukrainian people that is keeping Putin at bay, but we cannot count on that. 

To those in Northern Virginia, I will bring that same inherent resolve to Congress as your representative. Again – we have access to a positive solution: please vote for change this fall.

Karina Lipsman is the nominee for Virginia’s 8th Congressional District. Lipsman’s story is the American Dream. She is a refugee immigrant from Odesa, Ukraine. When she arrived in America, she did not speak English, survived on food stamps, and lived in low-income housing in Baltimore City. She resigned from a 14-year career in the U.S. defense and intelligence community and is now running to continue her service to our country. Visit KarinaforCongress.com to learn more about her.