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Jared Polis on War & Peace

 

 


Invasion of Iraq was a colossal mistake; out in 16 months

The invasion of Iraq was a colossal mistake, and I opposed the war from the very beginning. Bush’s blunders have left us without easy solutions for improving the situation. Barack Obama has proposed a 16-month timeline for withdrawal. I believe that we can and should do it even sooner as the ongoing presence of our troops reduces stability.

I have endorsed the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, which sets a series of clear goals towards expeditiously & safely ending our involvement in Iraq.

Source: 2008 House campaign website, polisforcongress.com, “Issues” , Nov 4, 2008

Voted NO on banning armed forces in Libya without Congressional approval.

RESOLUTION Declaring that the President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of US Armed Forces in Libya, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution.
    The House of Representatives makes the following statements of policy:
  1. The US Armed Forces shall be used exclusively to defend and advance the national security interests of the US.
  2. The President has failed to provide Congress with a compelling rationale based upon US national security interests for current US military activities regarding Libya.
  3. The President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of units and members of the US Armed Forces on the ground in Libya unless the purpose of the presence is to rescue a member of the Armed Forces from imminent danger.
The President shall transmit a report describing in detail US security interests and objectives, and the activities of US Armed Forces, in Libya since March 19, 2011, including a description of the following:
  1. The President's justification for not seeking authorization by Congress for the use of military force in Libya.
  2. US political and military objectives regarding Libya, including the relationship between the intended objectives and the operational means being employed to achieve them.
  3. Changes in US political and military objectives following the assumption of command by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
  4. Differences between US political and military objectives regarding Libya and those of other NATO member states engaged in military activities.
  5. The specific commitments by the US to ongoing NATO activities regarding Libya.
  6. The anticipated scope and duration of continued US military involvement in Libya.
  7. The costs of military, political, and humanitarian efforts concerning Libya as of June 3, 2011.
Congress has the constitutional prerogative to withhold funding for any unauthorized use of the US States Armed Forces, including for unauthorized activities regarding Libya.
Reference: Resolution on Libya; Bill HRes294 ; vote number 11-HV410 on Jun 3, 2011

Voted YES on removing US armed forces from Afghanistan.

Congressional Summary:
    Directs the President, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution, to remove the U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan:
  1. by no later than 30 days after this resolution is adopted; or
  2. if the President determines that it is not safe to remove them by such date, by no later than December 31, 2011.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Kucinich, D-OH]:The American people oppose this war by a margin of two to one. Nearly 2/3 of Americans say the war isn't worth fighting. We are spending $100 billion per year on this war. There are those who are saying the war could last at least another 10 years. Are we willing to spend another $1 trillion on a war that doesn't have any exit plan, for which there is no timeframe to get out, no endgame, where we haven't defined our mission? The question is not whether we can afford to leave. The question is, can we afford to stay? And I submit we cannot afford to stay. The counterintelligence strategy of General Petraeus is an abysmal failure, and it needs to be called as such.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL]: This resolution would undermine the efforts of our military and our international partners in Afghanistan and would gravely harm our Nation's security. 3,000 people died on Sep. 11 because we walked away once from Afghanistan, thinking that it didn't matter who controlled that country. We were wrong then. Let us not make the same mistake twice. Completing our mission in Afghanistan is essential to keeping our homeland safe. This is about our vital national security interests. It is about doing what is necessary to ensure that al Qaeda and other extremists cannot reestablish safe havens such as the ones they had in Afghanistan when the 9/11 attacks were planned against our Nation and our people. The enemy, indeed, is on the run. It is demoralized and divided. Let us not give up now.

Reference: Resolution on Afghanistan; Bill HConRes28 ; vote number 11-HV193 on Mar 17, 2011

Boycott & sanctions against Iran for terrorism & nukes.

Polis signed Iran Threat Reduction Act

Source: H.R.1905 11-HR1905 on May 13, 2011

Iranian nuclear weapons: prevention instead of containment.

Polis co-sponsored Resolution on Iran's nuclear program

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, that Congress--
  1. Reaffirms that the US Government has a vital interest in working together to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  2. warns that time is limited to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  3. urges continued and increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran until a full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related activities;
  4. expresses that the window for diplomacy is closing;
  5. expresses support for the universal rights and democratic aspirations of the people of Iran;
  6. strongly supports US policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  7. rejects any US policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.
Source: HRes568/SR41 12-HJR568 on Mar 1, 2012

Intervene in Iraq to protect persecuted Christians.

Polis signed Relief to Nineveh Plain of Iraq

Congressional Summary:

Calling for urgent international intervention on behalf of Iraqi civilians facing a dire humanitarian crisis in the Nineveh Plain region of Iraq.

Argument in opposition: (by The Christian Post)

ISIS has asked minorities to flee, convert to Islam, or be killed. H.Con. Res. 110 makes it a priority to protect Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and create safe havens for them. Yazidis are viewed by the ISIS as "devil worshipers."

Argument in opposition: (by Baltimore Nonviolence Center, July 26, 2014)

[We're seeking] action to keep us from sliding back to war in Iraq. On July 25, the House passed H. Con. Res. 105, the proposal to keep U.S. troops out of Iraq, by an overwhelming vote of 370-40. By passing the Iraq War Powers Resolution, Congress made clear that they stand with the American public, who do not want to go back to war in Iraq.

Source: H.C.R.110 14_HCR110 on Jul 24, 2014

Work with Iraqi government to fight ISIL.

Polis signed Resolution on ISIL

Congressional Summary:

RESOLUTION Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the current situation in Iraq and the urgent need to protect religious minorities from persecution from the Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) as it expands its control over areas in northwestern Iraq.

  • Whereas ISIL has a stated mission of establishing an Islamic state and a caliphate across the Levant through violence against Shiites, non-Muslims, and unsupportive Sunnis;
  • Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
  • calls on the US Department of State to work with the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Iraqi central government, neighboring countries, the diaspora community in the US, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to help secure safe havens for those claiming amnesty in Iraq; and
  • requests the addition of a Special Representative for Religious Minorities to [the Iraqi] government.

    Reporting pro & con by Politico.com, Sept. 17, 2014:

    Secretary of State John Kerry said arming the moderate opposition in Syria was the "best counterweight" against ISIL and emphasized to lawmakers: "ISIL must be defeated. Period." However, "US ground troops will not be sent into combat in this conflict," Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Instead, they will support Iraq forces on the ground as they fight for their country."

    Protesters from the anti-war group Code Pink stood up, held signs and chanted "No more war!" Kerry turned his attention to the protesters, and told them that while he was sympathetic to their opposition to war, if they believed in the broader mission of Code Pink, "then you ought to care about fighting ISIL." Stressing that the Islamic State was "killing and raping and mutilating women" and "making a mockery of a peaceful religion," Kerry told the protesters: "There is no negotiation with ISIL."

    Source: H.RES.683 14_HRes683 on Jul 24, 2014

    Voted NO on net neutrality: don't regulate the internet.

    Polis voted NAY Military Aid to Syrian Opposition

    Congressional Summary: H Amdt 1141 authorizes training and equipping appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition; requires detailed reports (including progress reports) on the plan, vetting process, and procedures for monitoring unauthorized end-use of provided training and equipment; and permits the Secretary of Defense to accept foreign contributions.

    Statement in support by Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA-25): I offer an amendment to HJ.124 to provide authority to train and equip elements of the Syrian opposition in order to defend the Syrian people from attacks by ISIL and to protect the US and our friends and allies. ISIL is a clear and present threat to our allies across the Middle East and to the US. The President has requested the authority to train and equip nongovernmental entities fighting in the non-U.S.-led operation in Syria. There is no doubt that any strategy to defeat ISIL must contain a Syrian component. I believe that there are options to defeat ISIL in Syria short of a major U.S.-led combat operation. But the window of opportunity is closing.

    Statement in opposition by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY-13): I don't see where the President needs authority to do what we are about to allow him to do because of a threat to the US. I haven't come close, in convincing [myself or my constituents] that training people overseas, that we don't know, to fight ISIS is in their best national interest. Already we have lost trillions of dollars and over 6,000 lives in this area, and I don't think we have yet to declare war. This honorable body [should] determine whether or not any enemy is a threat to the US and that we are going to go to war with them, that we should force every American to evaluate whether or not they believe that they are prepared to make sacrifices.

    Legislative outcome: Amendment passed House 273-156-9 on 17-Sep-2014.

    Source: Congressional vote 14-HJR124 on Sep 16, 2014

    Sanctions on Iran to end nuclear program.

    Polis signed Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act

      Expresses the sense of Congress that:
    1. diplomatic efforts to address Iran's illicit nuclear efforts, unconventional and ballistic missile development programs, and support for international terrorism are more likely to be effective if the President is empowered with explicit authority to impose additional sanctions on the government of Iran;
    2. US concerns regarding Iran are strictly the result of that government's actions; and
    3. the people of the United States have feelings of friendship for the people of Iran and regret that developments in recent decades have created impediments to that friendship.
      States that it should be US policy to:
    1. support international diplomatic efforts to end Iran's uranium enrichment program and its nuclear weapons program;
    2. encourage foreign governments to direct state-owned and private entities to cease all investment in, and support of, Iran's energy sector and all exports of refined petroleum products to Iran;
    3. impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran and any other Iranian financial institution engaged in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups; and
    4. work with allies to protect the international financial system from deceptive and illicit practices by Iranian financial institutions involved in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups.
    Source: S.908&HR.2194 2009-S908 on Apr 30, 2009

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    vs.Senator Rand Paul(? R)
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    LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
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    Gubernatorial Debates 2022:
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    AZ: Incumbent Doug Ducey(R,term-limited)
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    MI: Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer(D)
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    vs.John E. James(? R)
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