Baumgartner, who has worked as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan, said he wants to "end the war in Afghanistan now" and use the savings to help with domestic finances. "We have a foreign policy disaster now in the Middle East," he said. "Sen.
Cantwell has been consistently in support of poorly planned wars."
Cantwell countered that she supports Pres. Obama's plans to withdraw troops in 2014, and she said Pres. Bush deserved blame for not fully funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Source: The Seattle Times on 2012 WA Senate debate
, Oct 12, 2012
Change the course in Iraq; we can't stay indefinitely
Q: What's your definition for an acceptable resolution in Iraq?
McGAVICK: We have got to win the war against radical Islamic terrorism. To suddenly withdraw from Iraq would give our enemy heart & would give them a staging ground for terrorism against
GUTHRIE: Currently we have a civil war. Our brave soldiers are doing their best, but we need to bring them home as quickly as is consistent with their safety.
CANTWELL: We do need to change the course in Iraq. To say that we're going to stay
there as long as it takes, or have permanent bases, is the wrong message. We do need a plan, which includes these things:
We need the rest of the international community to step up political support for the new Iraqi government.
We need to
send to the Iraqi people the message that we're not going to stay there indefinitely. They have to take charge of their security.
We need to set a Dayton Accord summit to resolve issues like oil that keep the Shiites & Sunnis battling each other.
Stopping Balkan genocide is within US national interests
Senator Gorton stated that he supports U.S. intervention overseas only in cases directly tied to our national interests. Maria made it clear that stopping genocide
is well within our national interests and supported the role the US has played in the Balkans. Gorton disagreed with U.S. involvement in the Balkans.
Source: Press Release: Summary of KING-5 TV debate
, Oct 30, 2000
Limited but effective role for US in Mideast
Q: What should the US do about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
A: I've been supportive of our country's efforts to be a part of the peace keeping effort. I think having a role in that is very critical for us given the importance of the Middle East
strategically to our country. I applaud the President going there to calm both sides to get back to the negotiating table. I think the US playing a peacekeeping role should be limited, but in this case has been quite effective.
Source: Spokane Rotary Debate
, Oct 26, 2000
Condemns anti-Muslim bigotry in name of anti-terrorism.
Cantwell co-sponsored the Resolution on bigotry against Sikh Americans:
Title: Condemning bigotry and violence against Sikh Americans in the wake of terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.
Summary: Declares that, in the quest to identify, locate, and bring to justice the perpetrators and sponsors of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the civil rights and liberties of all Americans, including Sikh-Americans, should be protected.
Condemns bigotry and acts of violence or discrimination against any Americans, including Sikh-Americans.
Calls upon local and Federal law enforcement authorities to: (1) work to prevent hate crimes against all Americans; and (2) prosecute to the fullest extent of the law all those who commit hate crimes.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR255 on Oct 4, 2001
No troop surge: no military escalation in Iraq.
Cantwell co-sponsored opposing troop surge: no military escalation in Iraq
Sponsor`s introductory remarks: Sen. BIDEN: This bipartisan resolution opposes the President`s plan to escalate the war in Iraq. This resolution says what we and many of our colleagues, Democrats and Republicans, are against: deepening America`s military involvement in Iraq by escalating our troop presence. Just as important, it says what we and many of our colleagues are for: a strategy that can produce a political settlement in Iraq. That`s the only way to stop Shiites and Sunnis from killing each other and allow our troops to leave Iraq without leaving chaos behind.
Excertps from resolution:
Whereas the US strategy and presence on the ground in Iraq can only be sustained with the support of the American people and bipartisan support from Congress;
Whereas maximizing chances of success in Iraq should be our goal, and the best chance of success requires a change in current strategy;
Whereas the situation in Iraq is damaging the standing,
influence, and interests of the US in Iraq, the Middle East, and around the world;
Whereas more than 3,000 US military personnel have already lost their lives in Iraq, and more than 22,500 have been wounded in Iraq;
Whereas on January 10, 2007, Pres. Bush announced his plan to deepen the US military involvement in Iraq by deploying approximately 21,000 additional US combat forces to Iraq;
Whereas an open-ended commitment of US forces in Iraq is unsustainable and a deterrent to the Iraqis making the political compromises that are needed for violence to end and for stability and security to be achieved in Iraq;
Resolved: That it is the sense of Congress that it is not in the national interest of the US to deepen its military involvement in Iraq, particularly by escalating the US military force presence in Iraq;
the United States should engage nations in the Middle East to develop a regional, internationally-sponsored peace and reconciliation process for Iraq.
Source: Bipartisan Resolution on Iraq (S.CON.RES.2 ) 07-SCR2 on Jan 17, 2007
Deploy UN multinational peacekeeping force in Darfur.
Cantwell co-sponsored deploying UN multinational peacekeeping force in Darfur
Calling for the urgent deployment of a robust and effective multinational peacekeeping mission with sufficient size, resources, leadership, and mandate to protect civilians in Darfur.
Whereas hundreds of thousands of people have died and approximately 2,500,000 people have been displaced in Darfur, Sudan since 2003;
Whereas Congress declared on July 22, 2004 that the atrocities in Darfur were genocide;
Whereas the Sudanese President refused to allow the UN to deploy a peacekeeping force to Darfur;
Whereas deliberately targeting civilians and people providing humanitarian assistance during an armed conflict is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, and those who commit such violations must be held accountable;
Whereas on June 11, 2007, Sudanese President al-Bashir pledged to accept unconditionally the full United Nations-African Union hybrid deployment;
Whereas to establish conditions of peace and security, the peacekeeping mission
must be accompanied by a peace-building process among the parties to the conflict;
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate urges the President of the US to work with members of the UN Security Council and the African Union to ensure the expeditious deployment of the United Nations-African Union hybrid peacekeeping force with a mandate affirming that civilian protection is a primary mission objective;
Provide the UN-African Union hybrid force with sufficient logistical support and airlift capacity; and necessary vehicles, fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters for tactical reconnaissance and armed deterrence;
Be prepared to implement meaningful measures, including the imposition of multilateral sanctions, an arms embargo, and a no-fly zone for Sudanese military flights over Darfur, if the Government of Sudan obstructs deployment of the agreed upon peacekeeping mission.
Legislative Outcome: Agreed to by Senate by Unanimous Consent.
Source: Resolution on Darfur (S.RES 276) 07-SR276 on Jul 19, 2007
Iranian nuclear weapons: prevention instead of containment.
Cantwell co-sponsored Resolution on Iran's nuclear program
Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the nuclear program of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Whereas, since at least the late 1980s, Iran has engaged in a sustained pattern of illicit and deceptive activities to acquire nuclear capability;
Whereas the UN Security Council has adopted multiple resolutions since 2006 demanding the full suspension of all uranium enrichment-related activities by Iran, particularly possible military dimensions;
Whereas, in Nov. 2011, the IAEA issued an extensive report that documents `serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran`s nuclear programme`;
Whereas top leaders of Iran have repeatedly threatened the existence of the State of Israel;
Whereas the Department of State has designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984;
Whereas Iran has provided weapons, training, & funding to terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Shiite militias in Iraq;
Whereas Iran had forged a `secret deal` with al Qaeda to facilitate the movement of al Qaeda fighters and funding through Iranian territory;
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, that Congress--
Reaffirms that the US Government has a vital interest in working together to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
warns that time is limited to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
urges continued and increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran until a full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related activities;
expresses that the window for diplomacy is closing;
expresses support for the universal rights and democratic aspirations of the people of Iran;
strongly supports US policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
rejects any US policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.
Congressional Summary:Prohibits US-based correspondent accounts or a payable-through accounts by a foreign financial institution that knowingly:
conducted or facilitated a significant transaction on behalf of the Central Bank of Iran, or another Iranian financial institution, or a person involved in the energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors of Iran
Authorizes sanctions pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
Arguments for and against bill: (New York Times, May 8, 2013): Seeking to escalate pressure on Iran, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would deny the Iranian government access to its foreign exchange reserves, estimated to be worth as much as $100 billion. The legislation would be the first major new sanction confronting Iran since its inconclusive round of negotiations last month on its disputed nuclear program.
Sponsors of the legislation contend that Iran is not bargaining in good
faith while it continues to enrich uranium. Part of the reason, they say, is that Iran has been able to work around the worst effects of the sanctions by tapping its foreign currency reserves overseas, which are largely beyond the reach of current restrictions. `Closing the foreign currency loophole in our sanctions policy is critical in our efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability,` the sponsors said.
Critics said the new legislation risked further alienating Iranians who suspect that the sanctions` true purpose is not to pressure Iran in the nuclear negotiations, but to cause an economic implosion that would lead to regime change. `When we`ve cemented a sanctions escalation path, we`re creating a trajectory toward actual confrontation,` said the founder of the National Iranian American Council, a Washington group that opposes sanctions. Some Iranian leaders, he said, see the sanctions `as a train that can only go in one direction and has no brakes.`
Iran must accept long-term intrusive nuke inspection.
Cantwell signed demanding that Iran accept intrusive nuclear inspection
Excerpts from Letter from 85 Senators to President Obama We all hope that nuclear negotiations succeed in preventing Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapons capability. For diplomacy to succeed, however, we must couple our willingness to negotiate with a united and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime. We urge you to insist on the realization of these core principles with Iran:
Iran has no inherent right to enrichment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Any agreement must dismantle Iran`s nuclear weapons program and prevent it from ever having a path to a nuclear bomb.
Iran has no reason to have an enrichment facility like Fordow, and that the regime must give up its heavy water reactor at Arak.
Iran must submit to a long-term and intrusive inspection and verification regime.
Iran must not be allowed during these negotiations to circumvent sanctions.
Iran must clearly understand the consequences of failing to reach an acceptable final agreement. We must signal unequivocally to Iran that rejecting negotiations and continuing its nuclear weapon program will lead to much more dramatic sanctions, including further limitations on Iran`s oil exports.
Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, `Enforcing Iran Nuke Deal,` Jan. 25, 2017): More than anything else, the Iran nuclear deal must be kept because the alternative is a return to ever-heightening tensions and clamoring by hawks in both countries. From 2003 to 2014, years of unrelenting U.S. sanctions and confrontation, Iran went from 164 centrifuges to 19,000. The hostile approach generates a more expansive, less transparent Iranian nuclear program and increases the chances for another disastrous U.S. war in the Middle East. Let`s hope the Trump administration chooses not to go that route.
Source: Iran Nukes Letter 14LTR-NUKE on Mar 18, 2014
Sanctions on Iran to end nuclear program.
Cantwell signed Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act
Expresses the sense of Congress that:
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;
US concerns regarding Iran are strictly the result of that government`s actions; and
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:
support international diplomatic efforts to end Iran`s uranium enrichment program and its nuclear weapons program;
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;
on the Central Bank of Iran and any other Iranian financial institution engaged in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups; and
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.
Amends the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 to direct the President to impose sanctions if a person has made an investment of $20 million or more (or any combination of investments of at least $5 million which in the aggregate equals or exceeds $20 million in any 12-month period) that directly and significantly contributed to Iran`s ability to develop its petroleum resources. (Under current law the sanction thresholds are $40 million, $10 million, and $40 million, respectively.)
No military force against Iran without Congress approval.
Cantwell voted YEA the Iran War Powers Resolution
Axios.com summary: The House passed a symbolic war powers resolution directing President Trump to halt the use of military force against Iran unless he obtains approval from Congress.
The big picture: A classified briefing on the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani [by the US military] left Democrats and even some Republicans deeply skeptical, with many claiming that officials did not provide evidence that there was an `imminent` threat from Iran. Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) said they will vote in favor of a similar resolution in the Senate [S J Res 68].
What opponents are saying: Former national security adviser and notorious Iran hawk John Bolton tweeted: `The 1973 War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional. It reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Constitution allocated foreign affairs authority between the President and Congress. The Resolution should be repealed.` Pres. Trump quote tweeted
Bolton and added: `Smart analysis, I fully agree!`
What supporters are saying: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was one of the few Republicans to vote in favor of the resolution, stating on the House floor: `Killing Soleimani was the right decision, but engaging in another forever war in the Middle East would be the wrong decision.` Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced legislation that would block funding for offensive military force against Iran without congressional authorization. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) is also seeking to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which has been used repeatedly to justify war in the Middle East in the wake of 9/11. Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against the AUMF in 2001, criticizing it as a `blank check.`
Legislative outcome: H Con Res 83 Passed House 224-194-13 on 1/9/20; S J Res 68 passed Senate 55-45-0 on 2/13/20. Vetoed 5/6; Senate veto override failed 5/7/20.
Source: Congressional vote 20-SCR33 on Jan 9, 2020