State of Maryland Archives: on War & Peace

Ian Schlakman: Avoid foreign entanglements

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Avoid foreign entanglements"?

A: Strongly support

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Maryland Governor candidate Aug 21, 2018

Tony Campbell: Our country's national security must be our first priority

Our rights and freedoms are only as safe as our nation is secure.˙ One of the key functions of the United States Senate is to advise the executive branch on foreign affairs.˙I understand the dangers and opportunities which exist across the globe. The United States is a leader on the world stage but we do not solely bear the responsibility for peace.˙ We must be wise in using our resources.˙ Most importantly, the national security interest of the United States must come first.
Source: 2018 Senate campaign website, Jun 26, 2018

Shawn Quinn: Avoid foreign entanglements

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Avoid foreign entanglements"?

A: Support.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Maryland Governor candidate May 13, 2018

Arvin Vohra: Stop creating enemies; withdraw from foreign entanglements

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Avoid foreign entanglements"?

A: Strongly agree. We need to stop creating enemies; current military policy is wasting our money, sending young men and women into morally dubious employment, and making us less safe. I will sponsor legislation to withdraw from NATO, end all foreign entanglements, downsize the military, shut down foreign military bases, and cut taxes accordingly.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Maryland Senate candidate Mar 30, 2018

Arvin Vohra: U.S. in foreign civil wars is wrong and dangerous

Current international law holds soldiers accountable for war crimes, even if the order comes from above, but it does not classify the U.S. involvement in foreign civil wars as a war crime. I personally view U.S. involvement in foreign civil wars as morally bankrupt and dangerous, and I believe that those involved in combat duty are engaged in morally bankrupt actions. I cannot agree with the view that those in the military share no culpability for the actions they do while in the military.
Source: The Libertarian Vindicator on 2018 Maryland Senatorial race May 14, 2017

Jamie Raskin: Iran nuke deal is best chance to prevent Iranian nukes

Jamie strongly supports nuclear non-proliferation and is backing the Obama administration's Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which is designed to thwart the Republic of Iran's nuclear ambitions. After speaking with members of Congress, consulting foreign policy experts, researching every side of the issue, and talking with many 8th District residents with strong opinions on all sides of the issue, Jamie has concluded that approving the agreement represents our best chance to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. The agreement pairs stringent physical prohibitions with a robust inspections regime that will immediately put inspectors on the ground. Jamie also points out that the sanctions will quickly snap back into place if Iran tries to cheat on the deal. While the JCPOA is imperfect, and critics raise many valid concerns that should not be dismissed out of hand, Jamie is convinced the agreement represents our best option to neutralize Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Source: 2016 Maryland House campaign website Nov 8, 2016

Chris Van Hollen: End 2002 Iraq War authority; no ground troops in Mideast

Q: What strategy should the US pursue to protect itself and its allies from ISIS?

Van Hollen: Countering the threat of ISIS is a national security priority for the U.S., but we should not bear the burden alone. I support the use of American surveillance, intelligence assets, and airpower to support the ground operations of the Iraqi army and Kurdish fighters in Iraq, and strike ISIS military equipment and command and control elsewhere. I have spoken out forcefully against the idea of American troops on the ground in Syria, remembering the lessons of the Iraq War, which I opposed from the start. The removal of Saddam Hussein unleashed clashing sectarian forces that spawned al Qaeda in Iraq--the parent of ISIS. We should end the 2002 Iraq War Resolution authority and the current version of the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force, which provides a blank check for the Executive to put U.S. ground combat forces into Iraq, Syria and other areas.

Source: Baltimore Sun Voter Guide on 2016 Maryland Senate race Sep 9, 2016

Kathy Szeliga: ISIS presents a serious threat and must be destroyed

Q: What strategy should the United States pursue to protect itself and its allies from ISIS?

Szeliga: My father, an Army officer, instilled in me from an early age the importance of America having a strong military to keep our nation safe. The terrorist group ISIS presents a serious threat to the US and its allies and must be destroyed. The US foreign policy in the Middle East has left our traditional allies doubting US resolve. Our hasty drawdown contributed to the rise of ISIS. The current policies are clearly not working as ISIS continues to overtake territories and impose horrible human rights atrocities. Without a clear plan that includes our international allies, I would not support putting our men and women of the United States military on the ground. Right now, America is leading from behind and we are much less safe today than we were seven years ago.

Source: Baltimore Sun Voter Guide on 2016 Maryland Senate race Sep 9, 2016

Margaret Flowers: Iran nuke deal is first step towards normalizing relations

Q: What is your view of the international agreement intended to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons?

Flowers: I support the international agreement with Iran as a first step towards normalizing relations and I support increasing the use of diplomacy in our foreign policy in general. I also support prohibiting and eliminating all nuclear weapons throughout the world, including in the United States. The U. S. should not spend $1 trillion over the next ten years on upgrading nuclear weapons. Instead, we should use that money for pressing domestic needs and engage in multilateral negotiations with all nuclear weapon states to reach an agreement to ban nuclear weapons. I agree with my physician colleagues who understand the devastation that nuclear weapons can produce and the imperative that we end their threat everywhere.

Source: Baltimore Sun Voter Guide on 2016 Maryland Senate race Sep 9, 2016

Kathy Szeliga: Iran backroom nuclear deal just kicks the can down the road

It was revealed this month that President Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser manufactured a false narrative regarding the situation in Iran in order to sell the president's controversial deal to the American people.

One of the primary reasons I decided to run for the US Senate is because of my opposition to the backroom deal the Obama Administration struck with Iran. Let's look at the facts: Iran has proven time and again it is absolutely not a trustworthy actor, yet much of the deal requires the world to trust them. For example, Inspectors are required to request access from Iran to inspect some of their nuclear sites.

The deal only lasts for 15 years. So if Iran actually follows the agreement, they are still able to restart their nuclear program after the deal expires. In other words, the deal just kicks the can down the road. In the meantime, with sanctions lifted, Iran has the ability to bring in anywhere between $50 billion and $150 billion in new revenue.

Source: 2016 Maryland Senate campaign website May 11, 2016

Richard Douglas: When the Senate fails, Iran gets the bomb

When the Senate fails, Iran gets the bomb. Decisiveness and courage for Maryland will work wonders in a Senate where both are in short supply. I will take to the U.S. Senate a strong sense of duty to the nation, to Maryland, and to you.

Rich is an Iraq veteran and also served as senior lawyer at three U.S. Senate committees, working for principled legends like the late Jesse Helms--one of the few to serve on Capitol Hill with experience in both the mechanical trades and the armed forces

Source: 2016 Campaign website for MD Senate, Nov 11, 2015

Richard Douglas: If the Senate fails, we fail, like Iran nuke deal

On the heels of the dangerous Obama Administration nuclear deal with Iran, "Now more than ever, the U.S. Senate needs individuals like Richard Douglas who understand the power of Congress in these dangerous times," said Ambassador John Bolton at Douglas' candidacy announcement event. "The Iran deal is dangerous for America, Israel, and our allies across the globe."

Douglas will leverage his military background and legal experience as former senior counsel to key U.S. Senate committees to protect the nation's security interests and reform foreign policy in the wake of the Iran agreement, the so-called "red-line" against Syria using chemical weapons, Russian aggression in Ukraine and the threat of ISIS at home and abroad.

"These times demand a mastery of Senate rules and the subject matter," said Douglas. "They require tenacity to overcome inertia and Senate unwillingness to assert itself in policies defining the nation. If the Senate fails, we fail. I aim to prevent that."

Source: 2016 Campaign website for MD Senate, Jul 21, 2015

Dan Bongino: Too late to act if Iran gets even just a few nukes

"I'm not an adventurer, but I'm also not an isolationist," Bongino said. "We have to hold Iran to their word," he said, to allow nuclear inspections. "They have the capability to develop four to five warheads and if they choose to use them, or supply them to terrorist groups, there will be no Monday morning quarterbacking," Bongino said. "It will be too late."

Bongino also said he is a strong supporter of Israel, which he said is our only strong ally in the region.

Source: Cumberland Times-News on 2012 Maryland Senate debates Jul 22, 2012

Mary Landrieu: New course for our strategy in Iraq, with benchmarks

I support a new course for our strategy in Iraq. The President needs to provide the American people with measurable benchmarks of victory. This is the only way that the public can have the assurance that we are making progress. Unfortunately, the Administration has not provided such benchmarks. That failure has been a major cause of the policy errors and mismanagement that we have seen far too often in this very difficult situation.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website,, “Issues” Mar 2, 2008

Benjamin Cardin: Withdraw troops plus diplomatic solution, but no timetable

Q: In June you “called on the Bush administration to immediately begin withdrawing US troops from Iraq & adopt a plan to pull American combat forces out of the country by the end of 2007.” What if Iraq is not secure at the end of 2007? Still pull our troops out?

A: Iraq’s in the middle of a civil war. We need to combine withdrawing our troops with also a political & diplomatic solution. We need to engage the international community and recognize that there’s a civil war going on in Iraq. It’s not in our interests to continue the current policy.

Q: Let me ask my question again. If there was chaos on the ground at the end of 2007, would you still bring all troops home?

A: I don’t believe in a time schedule.

Q: But you called for all troops out by the end of 2007.

A: No, I said it’s reasonable to expect that if we start redeploying our troops, start engaging the international community, that it’s reasonable to expect that our combat troops could be out by the end of 2007. I stand by that.

Source: 2006 Maryland Senate debate on Meet the Press Oct 29, 2006

Benjamin Cardin: Never turn our back on our troops

Q: Would you vote to cut off funding for our troops while the war’s going on?

A: No. I will never support turning our backs on our troops. I’ve supported the appropriation bills, in order to make it clear that our troops who are in harm’s way have everything they need to be safe. What Congress needs to do is consider all options. It needs to use every option they can, so the president presents, presents a plan. My objective is to gives us the best chance to achieve US objectives.

Source: 2006 Maryland Senate debate on Meet the Press Oct 29, 2006

Benjamin Cardin: Redeploy our troops and focus on the war on terror

I plan to start redeploying troops to show the world that we’re not going to be an occupation force; convene the international community so that we can develop a diplomatic & political solution; use non-governmental organizations to deliver humanitarian assistance; bring in the international community to help train the troops. I’d bring the troops home. I want more flexibility to focus on the war against terror. Our influence internationally is being compromised because of our commitment in Iraq.
Source: 2006 Maryland Senate debate on Meet the Press Oct 29, 2006

Michael Steele: We need a clear strategy, and to pressure Iraq gov’t

Q: On Iraq, in July you said, “For me, staying the course, yes.” Two weeks later you said, “It didn’t work. We didn’t prepare for the peace.” And then when asked if you agreed with the management of the war, “By & large, absolutely, yeah.” And then 10 days ago: “The situation is not going well on the ground. We are getting deeper and deeper into a mess.” Where are you on Iraq?

A: The war in Iraq right now stands with a mess that we need to fix. We are at a point right now where there is no clear strategy. Going forward, what is the strategy? Put in place the benchmarks, put the pressure on the Iraqi government to lay out very clearly and very forcefully that they’re committed to democracy.

Q: Did the Bush administration help create this mess?

A: The Defense Department did not give the president the kind of strategy that he needed to prosecute this war. From the beginning we didn’t have enough troops on the ground, from the beginning there was no clear decision to win the peace here.

Source: 2006 Maryland Senate debate on Meet the Press Oct 29, 2006

Michael Steele: Iraq war worth it, to establish beachhead of democracy

Q: Do you believe the war has been worth the price we’ve paid in lives and costs?

A: I think the war has been worth it to the extent that what we’re trying to establish there is a beachhead of democracy. When we walk out of Iraq, what do we want? Do we want an Iraq that’s an ally of the US, or do we want an Iraq that is an enemy of the US? We want an ally, so it’s been worth it to us to establish this beachhead of democracy and an ally in an area where we’ve had some trouble in the past.

Source: 2006 Maryland Senate debate on Meet the Press Oct 29, 2006

Michael Steele: Would still vote for the Iraq war even there were no weapons

I would think we’d still prosecute the war. But what I would do, if we’re going to do it, let’s make sure we have the right complement of personnel on the ground and that we are looking forward in this and not looking backwards. And that’s where I am right now: What are we going to do, what is our strategy to begin to move our soldiers home and have Iraqi government and leadership move forward and keeping what they want in Iraq?
Source: 2006 Maryland Senate debate on Meet the Press Oct 29, 2006

Michael Steele: Withdrawal is on the table if Iraqis want a civil war

If the Iraqi people don’t want this, if they are content to have this internal strife, they want civil war, they want this, this terrorist beachhead to be formed, then we will have to re-evaluate our policy, and our foreign policy position with respect to that country. And that would be on the table, absolutely.
Source: 2006 Maryland Senate debate on Meet the Press Oct 29, 2006

Michael Steele: Make sure we leave behind in Iraq is an ally

Q: I asked you if the status quo was the same six months from now, you said “Get out.” So what would Iraq look like six months from now?

A: What we need to make sure we leave behind in Iraq is an ally, not an enemy. What we need to do is make certain that, whether it’s looking at the Biden plan in terms of a trifurcation or looking at a whole Iraq, this is the conversation we need to get into right now that we haven’t. What we have done, ostensibly, for the last three years, is slowly march towards nothing. A few weeks ago, the Iraqi government took control of its military. That is a notable benchmark. But there are so many others that we need to reach, and so many others that we have to do, that together will move us in a direction towards putting in place a stable Iraq that we can rely on as an ally, and not just sort of, “Well, we withdraw the troops or we don’t fund them.” That is not the strategy. What is your, what is your goal to put the pressure on the Iraqi government?

Source: 2006 Maryland Senate debate on Meet the Press Oct 29, 2006

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