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Mike Pence on War & Peace

Republian nominee for Vice President; Governor of Indiana; former Representative (IN-6)

 


FactCheck: Pence says pressure Assad; Trump focuses on ISIS

Q: What would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo? And I want to remind you what your running mate said. He said provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength and that if Russia continues to be involved in air strikes along with the Syrian government forces of Assad, the US should be prepared to use military force to strike the military targets of the Assad regime.

TRUMP: He and I haven't spoken, and I disagree.

Q: You disagree with your running mate?

TRUMP: I think you have to knock out ISIS. Right now, Syria is fighting ISIS We have people that want to fight both at the same time.

[OnTheIssues note: Russia & the Assad regime are bombing both ISIS & the Syrian rebels; the US is bombing ISIS but supports the Syrian rebels].

TRUMP: But Syria is no longer Syria. Syria is Russia and it's Iran, who [Hillary] made strong and Kerry and Obama made into a very powerful nation. I believe we have to worry about ISIS before we can get too much more involved.

Source: OnTheissues FactCheck on Second 2016 Presidential Debate , Oct 9, 2016

Back at war in Iraq because we didn't leave enough forces

After Clinton traveling millions of miles as our Secretary of State, after she being the architect of the foreign policy of this administration, America is less safe today than it was the day that Obama became president. It's absolutely inarguable. We've weakened the US's place in the world. It's been a combination of factors, but mostly it's been a lack of leadership. I will give you [the killing of bin Laden]. Osama bin Laden led Al Qaida. Our primary threat today is ISIS. Because Clinton failed to renegotiate a status of forces agreement that would have allowed some American combat troops to remain in Iraq and secure the hard fought gains the American soldier had won, ISIS was able to be conjured up out of the desert, and it's overrun vast areas that the American soldier had won. Because Clinton and Obama failed to provide a status of forces agreement and leave sufficient troops in there, we are back at war.
Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Protect civilians in Aleppo by enforcing Safe Zones

Q: 250,000 people-100,000 of them children--are under siege in Aleppo, Syria. Does the U.S. have a responsibility to prevent mass casualties on this scale?

PENCE: The United States of America needs to begin to exercise strong leadership to protect the vulnerable citizens in Aleppo. What America ought to do right now is immediately establish safe zones, so that families and vulnerable families with children can move out of those areas, work with our Arab partners, real time, right now, to make that happen. And if Russia chooses to be involved and continue to be involved in this barbaric attack on civilians in Aleppo, the US should be prepared to use military force to strike military targets of the Assad regime to prevent them from this humanitarian crisis that is taking place in Aleppo. There's a broad range of other things that we ought to do, as well [to pressure Russia, such as] to deploy a missile defense shield to the Czech Republic and Poland.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Protect civilians in Aleppo by enforcing Safe Zones

Q: 250,000 people-100,000 of them children--are under siege in Aleppo, Syria. Does the U.S. have a responsibility to prevent mass casualties on this scale?

PENCE: The United States of America needs to begin to exercise strong leadership to protect the vulnerable citizens in Aleppo. What America ought to do right now is immediately establish safe zones, so that families and vulnerable families with children can move out of those areas, work with our Arab partners, real time, right now, to make that happen. And if Russia chooses to be involved and continue to be involved in this barbaric attack on civilians in Aleppo, the US should be prepared to use military force to strike military targets of the Assad regime to prevent them from this humanitarian crisis that is taking place in Aleppo. There's a broad range of other things that we ought to do, as well [to pressure Russia, such as] to deploy a missile defense shield to the Czech Republic and Poland.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Iran deal delivered $400M as ransom to terrorist sponsor

PENCE: I fought hard on a bipartisan basis with Republican and Democrat members to move forward the toughest sanctions literally in the history of the United States, against Iran. We were bringing them to heel, but the goal was always that we would only lift the sanctions if Iran permanently renounced their nuclear ambitions.They have not renounced their nuclear ambitions. And when the deal's period runs out, there's no limitation on them obtaining weapons. We delivered $400 million in cash as a ransom payment for Americans held by the radical mullahs in Tehran.

KAINE: Let me tell you what will really make the Middle East dangerous. Donald Trump's idea that more nations should get nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea. Ronald Reagan said something about nuclear proliferation in the 1980s. He said the problem is that some fool or maniac could trigger a catastrophic event. I think that's who Governor Pence's running mate is, exactly who Governor Reagan warned us about.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Peace with North Korea through US strength

Q: How would you prevent North Korea from developing a nuclear-armed missile?

PENCE: We need to rebuild our military, including modernizing our nuclear forces. We need an effective American diplomacy that will marshal the resources of nations in the Asian Pacific Rim to put pressure on North Korea, on Kim Jong-un, to abandon his nuclear ambitions. When Donald Trump is president, we're not going to have the world flouting American power. We're going back to the days of peace through strength.

KAINE: You asked the question about how deal with a North Korea. I'm on the Foreign Relations Committee. We just did an extensive sanctions package against North Korea. The U.N. followed and did this -- virtually the same package. Often China will use their veto in the Security Council to veto a package like that. They're starting to get worried about North Korea, too. So they actually supported the sanctions package, even though many of the sanctions are against Chinese firms.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Hillary Clinton left Americans in harm's way in Benghazi

Mike Pence said, "It was Hillary Clinton who left Americans in harm's way in Benghazi and after four Americans fell, said: 'What difference, at this point, does it make?' "

THE FACTS: At no point has Clinton said--or even implied--that it makes no difference whether Americans died in the Benghazi attacks. Clinton's well-known quote came at a January 2013 Senate hearing when she was pressed about the motive for the attack. Her point was that it was less important to understand the reason for the attack than in knowing what to do about it. Republicans have persistently criticized the Obama administration for initially and wrongly blaming the attack on an anti-US protest.

Whether Clinton as secretary of state acted properly in that crisis is a matter of enduring debate. But she was not, as Pence suggested, cold about the fact that Americans died.

Source: ABC News Fact-Check on 2016 Republican National Convention , Jul 21, 2016

Military action to crush ISIS

A Donald Trump-Mike Pence administration will "support military action to crush ISIS," Pence said. "We've got to exercise the full strength of the United States of America," Pence told Fox News, "diplomatically and militarily.

"This is a military enemy," he said of the Islamic State. "What happened in Orlando, what just happened in Nice--these are terrorist attacks that are inspired by a military organization. We have to recognize that we are in a struggle."

In his first major interview since Trump's announcement on who would get the No. 2 slot, Pence said that "we have to recognize and speak plainly about the impact and the influence of radical Islam. But let's focus on the enemy. The enemy is ISIS. We know where they are. It's a metastasized version of Islam that is radical Islam that's being used as a justification for simply a power grab in the region," the governor said. "That's what this caliphate is."

Source: Newsmax.com, "Military Action," on 2016 Veepstakes , Jul 15, 2016

Supported Iraq war and sending more US troops there in 2007

Pence, near the beginning of his 12-year tenure in the U.S. House, voted for the resolution authorizing the 2003 Iraq invasion. Pence, who chaired the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East, was also a prominent backer of the 2007 "surge" strategy sending more U.S. troops to the faltering effort in Iraq, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer at the time that "the surge is working" while also defending the original decision to invade despite the absence of weapons of mass destruction.
Source: CNN.com 2016 Veepstakes, "Pence foreign policy" , Jul 15, 2016

Afghanistan is and will continue to be a NATO and US success

Q: General Petraeus has been concerned about the redeployment of some of the troops in Iraq to Afghanistan. Do you share his anxiety about that?

PENCE: I really do. You know, Afghanistan is going to have its own challenges. And there's concern right now that there may be something of a counteroffensive by the Taliban this spring. And so some Marines are being transferred into the southwest provinces.

Q: Do you think the NATO and US forces are ready to deal with that?

PENCE: Our military personnel are not going to be surprised. The Taliban has already been operating with military violence in about 10% of the provinces. They see it coming, but look, Afghanistan is and will continue to be an extraordinary American and NATO success. Iraq right now is going in the right direction, but the fight is far from over.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: discussion on Afghanistan , Mar 9, 2008

Voted YES 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 NO on investigating Bush impeachment for lying about Iraq.

OnTheIssues.org Explanation: This vote is on referring the impeachment resolution to a Congressional Committee to decide further action (not on impeachment itself).

Congressional Summary: Resolved, That President George W. Bush be impeached for committing the following abuses of power:

Proponents' arguments for voting YEA: Rep. Kucinich: Now is the time for this Congress to examine the actions that led us into this war, just as we must work to bring our troops home. This resolution is a very serious matter and I urge the Committee on Judiciary to investigate and carefully consider this resolution.

Rep. Wasserman-Schultz: Impeachment is a lengthy process which would divide Congress and this nation even more deeply than we are divided right now. Referring this resolution to the House Judiciary Committee is the constitutionally appropriate process that should be pursued.

Rep. Ron Paul: I rise, reluctantly, in favor of referring that resolution to the House Judiciary Committee for full consideration, which essentially directs the committee to examine the issue more closely than it has done to this point.

Reference: The Kucinich Privilege Resolution; Bill H.RES.1258 ; vote number 2008-401 on Jun 11, 2008

Voted NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq starting in 90 days.

To provide for the redeployment of US Armed Forces and defense contractors from Iraq. Requires within 90 days to commence the redeployment; and to complete such redeployment within 180 days after its commencement. Prohibits the use of DOD funds to increase the number of US forces serving in Iraq in excess of the number serving in Iraq as of January 1, 2007, unless specifically authorized by Congress. Authorizes retaining in Iraq US forces for providing security for diplomatic missions; for targeting al-Qaeda; and for training Iraqi Security Forces. Requires the President to transfer to the government of Iraq all interest held by the US in any military facility in Iraq.

Proponents support voting YES because:

This war is a terrible tragedy, and it is time to bring it to an end. This is a straightforward bill to redeploy our military forces from Iraq and to end the war in Iraq. This bill does not walk away from the Iraqi people. It specifically continues diplomatic, social, economic, and reconstruction aid. Finally, this bill leaves all the decisions on the locations outside of Iraq to which our troops will be redeployed wholly in the hands of our military commanders.

Opponents support voting NO because:

This legislation embraces surrender and defeat. This legislation undermines our troops and the authority of the President as commander in chief. Opponents express concern about the effects of an ill-conceived military withdrawal, and about any legislation that places military decisions in the hands of politicians rather than the military commanders in the field. The enemy we face in Iraq view this bill as a sign of weakness. Now is not the time to signal retreat and surrender. It is absolutely essential that America, the last remaining superpower on earth, continue to be a voice for peace and a beacon for freedom in our shrinking world.

Reference: Out of Iraq Caucus bill; Bill H R 2237 ; vote number 2007-330 on May 10, 2007

Voted YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date.

Reference: Resolution on Prevailing in the Global War on Terror; Bill HRES 861 ; vote number 2006-288 on Jun 12, 2006

Voted YES on approving removal of Saddam & valiant service of US troops.

States that the House of Representatives:
  1. affirms that the United States and the world have been made safer with the removal of Saddam Hussein and his regime from power in Iraq;
  2. commends the Iraqi people for their courage in the face of unspeakable oppression and brutality inflicted on them by Saddam Hussein's regime;
  3. commends the Iraqi people on the adoption of Iraq's interim constitution; and
  4. commends the members of the U.S. Armed Forces and Coalition forces for liberating Iraq and expresses its gratitude for their valiant service.
Reference: War in Iraq Anniversary resolution; Bill H Res 557 ; vote number 2004-64 on Mar 17, 2004

Voted YES on authorizing military force in Iraq.

Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq: Passage of the joint resolution that would authorize President Bush to use the US military as he deems necessary and appropriate to defend U.S. national security against Iraq and enforce UN Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq. It would be required that the president report to Congress, no later than 48 hours after using force, his determination that diplomatic options or other peaceful means would not guarantee US national security against Iraq or allow enforcement of UN resolutions and that using force is consistent with anti-terrorism efforts. The resolution would also give specific statutory authorization under the War Powers Resolution. Every 60 days the president would also be required to report to Congress on actions related to the resolution.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Hastert,R-IL; Bill HJRes114 ; vote number 2002-455 on Oct 10, 2002

Solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism.

Pence co-sponsored a Congressional Resolution expressing solidarity with Israel:

Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 02-HR392 on Apr 18, 2002

Strengthen sanctions on Syria & assist democratic transition.

Pence co-sponsored strengthening sanctions on Syria & assist democratic transition

A bill to strengthen sanctions against the Government of Syria, to enhance multilateral commitment to address the Government of Syria's threatening policies, to establish a program to support a transition to a democratically-elected government in Syria.

Source: Syria Accountability and Liberation Act (S2917/HR2332) 08-S2917 on Apr 24, 2008

Support the completion of the US mission in Iraq.

Pence co-sponsored supporting the completion of the US mission in Iraq

A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the Commander of Multinational Forces-Iraq and all United States personnel under his command should receive from Congress the full support necessary to carry out the United States mission in Iraq. Expresses the sense of the Senate that:

  1. Congress should ensure that General David Petraeus have the necessary resources to carry out their mission in Iraq; and
  2. the government of Iraq must make visible progress toward meeting the political, economic, and military benchmarks enumerated in this Resolution.
Source: S.RES.70 & H.RES.150 2007-SR70 on Feb 5, 2007

Sanctions on Iran to end nuclear program.

Pence 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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Page last updated: Nov 06, 2016