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Tony Knowles on Homeland Security

2004 former Democratic Challenger for Senate (AK; previously served as Governor)


Support a national missile defense system

Q. Is the national missile defense system now under construction a good use of taxpayer money?

KNOWLES: I support a national missile defense system. I believe in a strong national defense and realize that threats to America exist around the world, including the threat of nuclear attack from rogue nations. America must protect itself and that includes a workable missile defense system. Alaska’s strategic location makes it a logical place to base such defensive weapons.

MURKOWSKI: Yes. It is important we have a missile defense system that protects all 50 states. Alaska is the only location that can offer that protection. While we must also be vigilante against other potential threats, we cannot ignore threats from rogue nations that have intercontinental missile capabilities or the possibility of a terrorist group obtaining a long-range missile.

Source: AK Senate Debate, Q&A by Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Oct 10, 2004

Fairbanksans were not satisfied with the Alaska Fire Service

Q: Are you satisfied with the nation’s current firefighting system?

KNOWLES: Fairbanksans were not satisfied with a system that left them under a thick blanket of smoke for weeks and neither am I. Recognizing best forest practices allow wildfires to burn in remote areas, I would work with Fire Service professionals to address these problems-both here & in the lower 48-by reducing risk through controlled burns, adequately funding needed fire crews to protect homes and personal property, and ensuring the availability and safety of aerial tankers.

MURKOWSKI: Alaska is served well by the Alaska Fire Service. Officials from the state and AFS met daily to assess the fire status and set daily priorities. The process worked. Despite such cooperation, I have concerns regarding the fire protection zones that delineate Alaska. Interior communities have a right to know how their land areas are zoned. I support holding public meetings to determine if the various suppression zones need to be re-classified.

Source: AK Senate Debate, Q&A by Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Oct 10, 2004

Supports Powell Doctrine & pre-emptive military action

News-Miner: Did the United States wage a justifiable pre-emptive war in Iraq? Would you support other such actions if they are proposed?

Knowles:. As a Vietnam veteran, I know America’s enemies abroad should be pursued and defeated. A pre-emptive strike is justifiable when there is an imminent danger to America. From what we know today, Congress and the public were given false information about Iraq. I support a doctrine learned from Vietnam and established by Colin Powell in the first Gulf War: Military force should only be used if there was a clear risk to national security; that the force used should be overwhelming; and that the operation must have strong public support and a clear exit strategy.

Source: Q&A by Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Aug 1, 2004

Support new missile defense system

Knowles is pro-defense. Knowles himself served in the 82nd Airborne and spent a year in Vietnam. Knowles knows that those in uniform who serve our country deserve our complete support. He believes in keeping the US military strong and in working with our allies to fight terrorism and to promote peace and human rights. During his terms as Mayor of Anchorage and as Governor he was an advocate and strong supporter of the active military in Alaska and the installation of the new missile defense system.
Source: Campaign website, TonyKnowles.com Jun 30, 2004

A Vietnam vet who’ll fight for veteran benefits

Knowles will fight every day for those who fought for us. Knowles is a Vietnam veteran, where he served in the Army with the 82nd Airborne Division. Knowles agrees with the Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars when he calls the veteran’s budget of the current administration “a disgrace” and “a sham.” Knowles has a record as the “Veterans’ Governor,” and will continue to make sure that America keeps its promise to provide care to America’s veterans.
Source: Campaign website, TonyKnowles.com Jun 30, 2004

Deal with terrorism as a joint federal-state responsibility.

Knowles adopted the National Governors Association policy:

Source: NGA policy HR-10: Domestic Terrorism 01-NGA5 on Feb 15, 2001

Include states in anti-terrorism planning.

Knowles adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

The issue of terrorism will be of major focus for the 107th Congress. Governors have a critical interest in controlling domestic terrorism because they are responsible for ensuring that state and local authorities have the ability to deal with natural disasters and other types of major emergencies, including terrorist incidents.

NGA’s Position

NGA believes that any national strategy for dealing with terrorist incidents should include planning and training by state and local forces. The unique nature of terrorism coupled with national security implications requires the support and expertise of the federal government in working with state and local government in developing capabilities. A clear national strategy developed through a partnership among federal agencies and key state, local, and private sector stakeholders is essential to drive operational and programmatic planning, training, and service delivery in combating terrorism.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA7 on Sep 14, 2001

Study terrorist threats against nuclear waste repositories.

Knowles signed the Western Governors' Association resolution:

  1. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) should reexamine the issue of terrorism and sabotage against spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste shipments in order to determine the adequacy of the current physical protection regulations, as part of the NRC licensing process for a geologic repository or an interim storage facility.
  2. The NRC should conduct a comprehensive assessment of the consequences of attacks that have the potential for radiological sabotage, including attacks against transportation infrastructure used by nuclear waste shipments, attacks involving capture of a nuclear waste shipment and use of high energy explosives against the cask, and direct attacks upon a nuclear waste shipping cask using antitank missiles.
  3. The NRC should conduct the comprehensive reassessment of terrorism/sabotage consequences in a forum conducive to meaningful participation by all affected stakeholders, including the creation of a stakeholder advisory group to assist the NRC in this task.
  4. DOE should also fully evaluate the impacts of terrorism and sabotage against spent fuel and nuclear waste shipments in the Yucca Mountain and in any interim storage facility.
  5. DOE should incorporate terrorism/sabotage risk management and countermeasures in all DOE transportation plans relating to operation of a repository, interim storage facility, and/or intermodal transfer facility, including liability for costs and damages resulting from terrorism/sabotage against nuclear waste shipments.
  6. DOE is encouraged to expeditiously complete the Department’s guidance process for codifying the “Transportation Protocol Manual,” [with] review with the participating states and tribes prior to formal adoption.
  7. The governors encourage NRC, DOT and DOE to use the “Transportation Protocol Manual” as the beginning point for requirements for the transport of both federal and commercial radioactive materials.
Source: WGA Policy Resolution 01-03: Terrorism Against Nuclear Waste 01-WGA03 on Aug 14, 2001

Other governors on Homeland Security: Tony Knowles on other issues:
AK Gubernatorial:
Sean Parnell
AK Senatorial:
Lisa Murkowski
Mark Begich

Newly seated 2010:
NJ Chris Christie
VA Bob McDonnell

Term-limited as of Jan. 2011:
AL Bob Riley
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
NM Bill Richardson
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Donald Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
WY Dave Freudenthal
Newly Elected Nov. 2010:
AL: Robert Bentley (R)
CA: Jerry Brown (D)
CO: John Hickenlooper (D)
CT: Dan Malloy (R)
FL: Rick Scott (R)
GA: Nathan Deal (R)
HI: Neil Abercrombie (D)
IA: Terry Branstad (R)
KS: Sam Brownback (R)
ME: Paul LePage (R)
MI: Rick Snyder (R)
MN: Mark Dayton (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
NM: Susana Martinez (R)
NV: Brian Sandoval (R)
NY: Andrew Cuomo (D)
OH: John Kasich (R)
OK: Mary Fallin (R)
PA: Tom Corbett (R)
RI: Lincoln Chafee (I)
SC: Nikki Haley (R)
SD: Dennis Daugaard (R)
TN: Bill Haslam (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WY: Matt Mead (R)
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[Title9]

Page last updated: Aug 15, 2011