State of Colorado Archives: on War & Peace


Ken Buck: No deadline for withdrawal from Afghanistan

Q: If President Obama and General Petraeus were to determine that they need a significant number of troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond the July 2011 deadline, is that a position that you'd be able to support?

BUCK: Well, I don't think we set artificial deadlines. I think that we set realistic goals, and, and try to accomplish those goals. I don't think we should be nation-building, I don't think we should be staying there over the long-term

Q: What if General Petraeus says, "You know what, it's July 2011, but if we're going to achieve our goals, we can't pull any troops out. May need more troops, may need to surge up again here." Well, you could support that because you don't believe in deadlines?

BUCK: No, I didn't say I could support that. I don't believe in deadlines, I don't believe in telling the enemy when we're going to withdraw. I need to know what he thinks the goals are. And if I agree with those goals, then evaluate at that point.

Source: NBC's Meet the Press: 2010 Colorado Senate debate Oct 17, 2010

Michael Bennet: Commit to bring home troops from Afghanistan in July 2011

Q: If President Obama and General Petraeus were to determine that they need a significant number of troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond the July 2011 deadline, is that a position that you'd be able to support?

BENNET: My position is that we ought to begin bringing our troops home in July '11. And there will be troops there, they'll have to leave troops there, and I recognize that. But this is the longest shooting war in our country's history.

Q: But if a significant number of combat forces must remain to achieve US goals, you'd be for it or against it?

BENNET: I would have to look at it then, but what I want to make clear is that I believe the president needs to honor the commitment that he made to begin bringing our troops home. I don't know what "significant" is. I imagine that there will be a substantial number of troops there for the foreseeable future.

Q: And you could support that?

BENNET: I believe what the American people need to see that our commitment there is coming to an end.

Source: NBC's Meet the Press: 2010 Colorado Senate debate Oct 17, 2010

Ken Buck: Don't allow Iran to obtain nukes, even via military

As for Iran, Buck said it should not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons. "And we should take appropriate action if necessary," he added, a reference to a possible military strike.

Buck challenged Bennet, saying he'd voted against imposing sanctions on companies doing business with Iran, a claim Bennet denied, but Buck insisted was accurate.

Source: Pueblo Chieftan coverage of 2010 Colorado Senate Debate Oct 8, 2010

Ken Buck: Afghanistan war ok; nation-building not ok

While endorsing the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Buck said it was a mistake to attempt to build a democratic nation there. He said U.S. policy should be limited to three goals--to prevent the country from becoming a haven for terrorists; to disrupt the illegal drugs coming out of Afghanistan; and to promote peace in the area by leaving a minimal force behind.

Bennet's view was even briefer, saying U.S. goals in Afghanistan should be to destroy al-Qaida groups on the Pakistan border and then to support the Pakistan military to make certain that country's nuclear weapons are secure from terrorists. Then U.S. troops should be brought home.

Source: Pueblo Chieftan coverage of 2010 Colorado Senate Debate Oct 8, 2010

Michael Bennet: Afghan exit after al-Qaida groups destroyed in Pakistan

While endorsing the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Buck said it was a mistake to attempt to build a democratic nation there. He said U.S. policy should be limited to three goals--to prevent the country from becoming a haven for terrorists; to disrupt the illegal drugs coming out of Afghanistan; and to promote peace in the area by leaving a minimal force behind.

Bennet's view was even briefer, saying U.S. goals in Afghanistan should be to destroy al-Qaida groups on the Pakistan border and then to support the Pakistan military to make certain that country's nuclear weapons are secure from terrorists. Then U.S. troops should be brought home.

Source: Pueblo Chieftan coverage of 2010 Colorado Senate Debate Oct 8, 2010

Bob Schaffer: Surge is working; but it might take years

Q: You have said a definition of success is that if Iraq on its own has security, a police department that functions, and a political and an economy that is stable, you said, ďItís not going to be in the next two or three years, most likely.Ē Do you think that the American troops will be there five years from now in Iraq?

SCHAFFER: Hard to say. If they are, I hope that itís not involved in tactical involvement on a day-to-day basis, but strategic. But Iíd hoped that weíd have American troops out even sooner. That definition you read, was before there was a clear indication that the surge has worked. I am optimistic, however, that we are achieving those objectives right now.

Q: [to Udall]: A year ago you said that the surge was a tragic mistake. Were you wrong?

UDALL: Itís time to leave Iraq. Itís time to leave Iraq responsibly.

Q: Were you wrong on the surge?

UDALL: The surge has helped. There are other factors in Iraq that have been helpful.

Source: 2008 Colorado Senate Debate on Meet the Press Sep 28, 2008

Mark Udall: Proposed votes against the declaration of war

SCHAFFER: [Since I left Congress in 2002], under Republican leadership, deficits grew, and I think it has mainly been a function of war.

UDALL: Thatís a great narrative, but go back to 2002. You cast votes for a war.

SCHAFFER: You proposed votes against the declaration of war.

UDALL: You cast votes against an energy policy set of proposals that would have us much closer to being energy independent today.

SCHAFFER: I cast votes in favor of an energy policy.

Source: 2008 Colorado Senate Debate on Meet the Press Sep 28, 2008

Mark Udall: Surge has helped, but itís time to leave Iraq

Q: A year ago you said that the surge was a tragic mistake. Were you wrong?

UDALL: Itís time to leave Iraq. Itís time to leave Iraq responsibly.

Q: Were you wrong on the surge?

UDALL: The surge has helped. There are other factors in Iraq that have been helpful. The Al Anbar Awakening, Muqtada al-Sadrís call for a cease-fire. Thereís ethnic cleansing to a great extent now that you donít hear that story. Sunni and Shia do not live together anymore in places like Baghdad. But whatever the situation was then, itís now time to leave Iraq in an honorable & responsible way. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I know how stretched our military is. I also know we havenít finished the job in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. Bin Laden is still at large. I also know we have no capacity to defend our own country or to respond to any other emergencies all over the world. Itís time to turn Iraq back over to the Iraqis and refocus on a tough and a smart national security policy.

Source: 2008 Colorado Senate Debate on Meet the Press Sep 28, 2008

Pete Coors: Support adding more troops, oppose setting a war deadline

If the military was to ask Congress for more troops (in Iraq), Iíd be the first to step up and say, ĎYouíve got it,í Coors said, adding that it would be a mistake to set a deadline on when to bring U.S. troops home.
Source: Colorado Senate Debate in Rocky Mountain News Oct 30, 2004

Ken Salazar: Bush was not for a Department of Homeland Security

Q: Kerry said ďthis was the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time.Ē Do you agree with that?

A: I wouldnít have chosen those same words. The reality of it is that if you look at the time before 9/11, that we knew that we were involved in dealing with the greatest threat that America has seen in modern history, and thatís the whole issue of terrorism. Look at the Hart-Rodman report that came out long before 9/11, and they said we were going to be attacked here at the homeland and that we needed to create a Department of Homeland Security. And yet what happened? The nation slept. Washington slept on that issue. I was in a meeting with Bush and with Secretary Ridge some six months after 9/11 occurred, and they were still in a position that we did not need to have a Department of Homeland Security. Washington has acted with the kind of urgency to deal with the issue of global terrorism in an effective way.

Source: Colorado Senate Debate on Meet the Press Oct 10, 2004

Ken Salazar: We have a mess on our hands in Iraq

SALAZAR: I would have voted for the resolution to give Bush the authority to move forward. The most important question to me is we in Iraq today and how do we move forward in Iraq, and the way weíve got to move forward in Iraq is with a plan thatís going to bring stability to the country and allow us to accomplish the mission. I agree with Sen. Lugar & with Sen. McCain and others who have been critical of whatís happening in Iraq and we have a mess on our hands, but we need to figure out the plan on how exactly weíre going to move forward. I have a plan on how weíre going to do that.

COORS: We have an enemy who is a horrific enemy. These are barbaric people who want to destroy our civilization. Every vote, you go with the best intelligence you have. I donít think itís appropriate today to second-guess what decision would be made today based on the information we have. I suspect that given what we know today, there would be a much different outcome than we had a couple of years ago.

Source: Colorado Senate Debate on Meet the Press Oct 10, 2004

Pete Coors: Go with the best intelligence you have

SALAZAR: I would have voted for the resolution to give Bush the authority to move forward. The most important question to me is we in Iraq today and how do we move forward in Iraq, and the way weíve got to move forward in Iraq is with a plan thatís going to bring stability to the country and allow us to accomplish the mission. I agree with Sen. Lugar & with Sen. McCain and others who have been critical of whatís happening in Iraq and we have a mess on our hands, but we need to figure out the plan on how exactly weíre going to move forward. I have a plan on how weíre going to do that.

COORS: We have an enemy who is a horrific enemy. These are barbaric people who want to destroy our civilization. Every vote, you go with the best intelligence you have. I donít think itís appropriate today to second-guess what decision would be made today based on the information we have. I suspect that given what we know today, there would be a much different outcome than we had a couple of years ago.

Source: [Xref Salazar] Colorado Senate Debate on Meet the Press Oct 10, 2004

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