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Public Statements

Issue Position: National Security and War

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

I support a full withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.
I support using those funds to rebuild our middle class and reduce the deficit.
I support Hillary Clinton's smart power approach to foreign policy in order to build stronger relationships and coalitions across the world.
I oppose rushing to war, and will vigorously oppose any future attempts to embroil America in a conflict without confirmed intelligence, a clear mission, and an exit plan. I support imposing sanctions and taking all other nonmilitary actions before considering military options.
I oppose Presidents engaging to engage in military conflict without Congressional approval and will not support a war without an official declaration of war from Congress.
I support restoring American moral values to our treatment of prisoners and fully ending all forms of torture and following the UN CAT treaty (Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment). I support penalties for any military or civilian or political officials involved in ordering or executing torture of prisoners.
I support strong intelligence services but will work to ensure there is sufficient oversight to protect the civil liberties of American citizens, and to make sure privacy is respected.
I support cutting some wasteful weapons systems and research programs that are costing far too much money. I support investing this money in the American middle class instead.
I support full funding for the Veterans Administration and full funding for existing and new employment programs for returning soldiers and veterans.

When it comes to war and national security, we must find a balance between our needs at home, and our liberties, as well as security. I believe we are far off course in terms of finding the right balance.

I support a full withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, because have a number of problems here at home that require our attention, and our resources. I want to make sure we avoid the rush to war that led us into Iraq. I will not support a war without an official declaration of war from Congress. That is the power of Congress, and we cannot be led into conflicts at the whim of a President with only a stroke of the pen. There is too much at stake when we go to war, and I will require a careful and thoughtful examination before we send troops into harm's way.

Our military is the best in the world. We also spend far more on defense than is necessary to be the best in the world. We should spend less on wasteful acquisitions, and focus on taking care of our veterans.

We can maintain a strong security posture while cutting a lot of waste out of the defense budget. These funds can help us reduce the debt and make critical investments at home. Defense has become a way for politicians to fund pork projects. We maintain dozens of bases abroad, some of which are no longer necessary. We continue to purchase new nuclear and chemical weapons, despite the fact we have more than enough to destroy the world multiple times. We purchase expensive planes, ships, and new weapons technologies that are not necessary to achieve security. In short, we can cut a lot of wasteful spending and be just as safe.

We must protect ourselves from domestic and international terrorists, but at the same time, we must not forget that our rights as Americans make us free. They are worth protecting. I do not support indefinite detentions without trial. This is un-American and despite what some might argue, it is immoral. I feel that torture or "enhanced interrogation" is equally immoral. I also do not support the right of the government to engage in surveillance of American citizens without a warrant and this would include reading your emails, listening to your phone calls, and watching what books you take out from the library. Our government should be in the business of protecting citizens, not spying on them. We must continue to fund and advance counterterrorism while reversing the infringement upon civil liberties in the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA).

Our active duty troops and veterans deserve our respect, and I support full funding of the Veterans Administration. No soldier should be left to fend for themselves when it comes to chemical exposure, trauma, and other injuries. I also support more incentives and focus on ensuring our veterans are able to find employment when they come home. They served us, and I believe in serving them.

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