Issue Position: Foreign Affairs
Senator Maria Cantwell believes we must engage with the international community in order to improve our security at home and around the world. We must stop terrorism and do all that we can to promote opportunity and freedom everywhere. We must balance these goals without compromising the ideals that make Americans unique and have allowed us to become great value for human dignity, the rights of the individual, and for the tolerance of all regardless of race or religion. We must not lose sight of our principles, but rather use them to engage in real diplomacy around the world to strengthen our own security and safety here at home.
Changing the Course in Iraq
Maria believes we must get Iraqis on their feet and U.S. troops home. She voted for the Levin-Reed Amendment to encourage the Iraqis to take complete control of their own future. The amendment recognizes the increasing number of Iraqi troops being trained but calls on those troops to take the lead so U.S. forces can be redeployed beginning this year. The Bush Administration must do more to garner international support for the new Iraqi government. Maria has called for a U.S. Special Envoy to reengage the international community on the future of Iraq . She voted for the Biden Amendment to affirm that the U.S should not stay in Iraq indefinitely, it should not construct permanent bases in that country, and the U.S. should not seek to exercise control over Iraqi oil.
Our prayers and thoughts are with the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who have now been called to duty in service of their country. We are proud to support our troops and pray that their mission is completed quickly, effectively, and with minimal casualties. We in Washington state are proud to be the home to thousands of troops currently serving our country.
Stopping the Killing in Darfur
The killing in the Darfur region of Sudan has already claimed 300,000 lives in just three years. Maria believes the U.S. must lead urgent international efforts to stop the conflict and has called on the president to take immediate steps to protect civilians in Darfur. She also supports legislation to create a U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and to give the president access to the financial resources needed to back potential NATO action in support of the United Nations and African Union Mission in Darfur.
Leading International Involvement and Humanitarian Assistance
Maria believes America should lead the way in providing relief during natural and manmade humanitarian crises. She supports legislation to make the protection of vulnerable populations, especially women and children, a priority. Maria also believes there should be a continued active and productive role for the United States in the United Nations.
Maria believes we cannot permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. We need a verifiable diplomatic solution. President Bush must work with Europe, Russia, China, and the United Nations to deal with Iran. The president should also attempt direct talks with the Iranians. Maria also believes that the world must demand that Iran and Syria end their support for Hezbollah and Hamas.
We cannot ignore the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. We must press the international community to fully comply with UN sanctions that were imposed on North Korea for its missile tests. Maria also believes that we must work closely with China, Russia, Japan, and South Korea to get the North Koreans back to the Six Party Talks and that the U.S. should directly engage with North Korea within that multilateral context. The U.S. must not lose focus on North Korea while dealing with other challenges around the world.
Engaging with China on Energy Policy
Maria laid out concrete steps to improve U.S.-China energy cooperation, including a presidential energy summit between the U.S. and China, a U.S.-China Energy Working Group with cabinet level leadership, and multilateral engagement with China through international organizations. Maria believes that modernizing China's domestic energy infrastructure creates opportunities to export innovative U.S. technologies and products. Maria believes that working to make sure the United States and China stay on the road to positive engagement is essential to our common prosperity and a better future for our people.