Sam Brownback on Foreign Policy
Republican Sr Senator (KS)
No Palestinian state, even after ten years of peace
I learned that Senator Sam Brownback, my predecessor as chairman of the subcommittee with oversight responsibility on Middle Eastern policy, was also in Jerusalem.
We arranged to travel together for a day, sharing a security detail provided by the US Embassy. On a memorable drive to Ramallah and back, we wound through the hilly West Bank, past roadblocks and scattered settlements.
Senator Brownback railed against the scourge of Palestinian terrorism.
I said, "Sam, just theoretically, if the Palestinians were to cease all acts of violence for a year, or 2 years or 10 years then could we talk about a
Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza?
My fellow politician did not waffle, wiggle, or duck, as so many do. He thought about my question, then turned to me with an honest and direct answer: "No."
Source: Against the Tide, by Sen. Lincoln Chafee, p.219
, Apr 1, 2008
Stand up in the face of genocide in Darfur
Q: [to Rep. Paul]: Does the US have a role to play in ending the genocide in Darfur?
PAUL: The US government has no authority. Thereís no constitutional authority. Thereís no moral authority. Thereís plenty of moral authority and responsibility for
individuals to participate. But every time we get involved, weíre getting involved in a civil war. Even when you send food, it ends up in the hands of the military and they use it as weapons.
BROWNBACK: I couldnít disagree more with that last answer.
We are the greatest nation on the face of the Earth, and we are ones that can stand up. And we need to stand up in the face of second genocide when we had declared years ago in Rwanda: Never again. And what is happening? It is happening again.
And itís not just the first genocide thatís taken place in Sudan, itís the second. We need to divestiture campaigns. We need to support the African Union troops there. We donít need to put our own troops. We need to provide food and medicine as well.
Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University
, Sep 27, 2007
Monitor the eradication of legal slavery in Sudan
Q: I was made a slave during the government of Sudanís war against black Christians of southern Sudan. I am a slave no longer, but today want to free tens of thousands of my brothers and sisters who remain in chattel slavery in Sudan. Would you today
endorse the creation of a commission to monitor the eradication of slavery in Sudan, where the slavery of a man is legal?
Source: [Xref Paul] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate
, Sep 17, 2007
- HUCKABEE: Yes.
- TANCREDO: Yes.
- COX: Yes.
- BROWNBACK: Yes.
- PAUL: No.
- HUNTER: Yes.
- KEYES: Yes.
Avoid ratifying Law of the Sea Treaty
Q: Pres. Reagan rejected the Law of the Sea Treaty, because it gives International Seabed Authority dictatorial power to regulate all oceans and the riches at the bottom of the oceans, plus the power the levy international taxes, and it would make the US
subject to the decisions of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Would you urge the Senate not to ratify this treaty?
Source: [Xref Keyes] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate
, Sep 17, 2007
- HUCKABEE: Yes.
- TANCREDO: Yes.
- COX: Yes.
- BROWNBACK: Yes.
- PAUL: Yes.
- HUNTER: Yes.
- KEYES: Yes.
Be realistic about pushing democracy, or we get radicals
Words of a president matter. When Ronald Reagan says, ďMr. Gorbachev, bring down this wall,Ē that mattered. When he called the Soviet Union an evil empire, that mattered. Words of our leader matter, and you have to matter within the context of where we
are. We are in a generational conflict with militant Islamists. Thatís where we are. We are at war. Weíre a nation at war. I think we have to be very realistic about this war. We have a number of allies in the Islamic world.
We have a number of allies around the world. It is something important what we say and the direction we go. I think we push democracy, but I think we have to be realistic in the places that we push and at the time we push it.
You push democracy in Pakistan or Egypt right now, youíre going to get a radicalized government in Pakistan, a radicalized government in Egypt and youíre going to have a nuclear-weaponed, radical government in Pakistan.
Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate
, Aug 5, 2007
Passed the Sudan Peace Act to end civil war and slavery
I met with Sudanese refugees [who] confirmed that slavery was taking place & also that there was an ongoing genocide against the Christian & animist minority in southern Sudan. The present government in Khartoum was supported at its beginning by Osama bi
Laden and established a radical Islamic state in Sudan. The government was paying marauders with the bounty they took to go through southern Sudan, burning villages, killing the men, raping and beating the women, and then taking the children as slaves.
The entire issue captured me. It seemed impossible that something so ugly could still be going on in the world, but it was going on. The Sudan Peace Act was passed by Congress on Sept. 6, 2001.
Source: From Power to Purpose, by Sam Brownback, p.127-130
, Jul 3, 2007
Many Christians care deeply about what happens to Israel
[In 1996, I chaired the Senate Mideast Subcommittee.] I remember one particular meeting with Madeline Albright, secretary of state in the Clinton administration, about US relations with Israel.
I said, "Well, it's not only the Jews who care about
Israel. Christians care about Israel, too." Then somebody asked, "Why on earth would the Christians care what happens to Israel?" I replied, "Many Christians care deeply about what happens to Israel and the Jewish people." Honestly, I was surprised by
the remarks of my colleagues. They kept asking what possible reason the Christian community could have for caring about Israel. I think it particularly sparked an interest by Madeline Albright. She and I have worked together on several projects since
Several years later, I had the opportunity to travel to Israel and speak in the Knesset, their parliament, to the Christian Alliance Caucus. As a Christian, I wanted the people of Israel to know that the Christians care very much for Israel.
Source: From Power to Purpose, by Sam Brownback, p. 30-9
, Jul 3, 2007
20 million AIDS orphans in Africa, & more orphans worldwide
I think I first saw the need for adoption when I began traveling to other countries. When I traveled in Azerbaijan, China, or Africa, I saw many orphaned children who needed a home. We estimated that there are 20 million AIDS orphans in Africa alone.
There are 1000s of orphaned girls in China. The situation is very serious in virtually every country I've visited. And many of the kids are in poor condition. We also have many children in America in foster care just waiting for a home.
When I looked at those beautiful, innocent faces, I said, "I can't do everything, but I can do something." Mary and I both felt a deep calling to adopt, and after we researched what was involved,
we made arrangements to adopt Mark in Guatemala and Jenna in China. I highly recommend it to everybody interested. A child is a precious gift, and an adopted child is a gift to the entire family.
Source: From Power to Purpose, by Sam Brownback, p. 89
, Jul 3, 2007
Aid to Africa needs accountability or people don't get help
"We've invested billions in Africa over the years. So why aren't things better than they are?" UN studies showed things were no better and, in some nations, worse than they were 20 years ago in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Obviously issues include
malaria and the AIDS epidemic. But there are also huge problems with incompetence and corruption. We asked the obvious question, "Where has all the money gone?"
Millions of dollars had been spent in Malawi, and the people were still in deep poverty and
dependency. There was no doubt in my mind that we ought to help, but nobody wants to be throwing money down a rat hole or stuffing it into a dictator's pockets. We've done that, so our model has to be different.
Until now, government has apparently
been content to supply cash to third world countries with little accountability. This new model is much more targeted and has an accountability structure. I think this is a much better approach than the model that government has used in the past.
Source: From Power to Purpose, by Sam Brownback, p.144-5
, Jul 3, 2007
Steered Silk Road Strategy Act through Congress
The Silk Road Strategy Act was aimed at the countries in the southern regions of the Old Soviet Union--Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and others. This region had been known as the "silk road" as far back as
the time of Marco Polo. Our objective was to bring these nations into regular commercial and diplomatic relationships with the West, rather than forfeiting them to slide back into the Russian sphere or to become part of the Islamic world.
I have traveled in most of those countries several times, meeting with the leaders, forming the Silk Road Caucus, and building strategies for ongoing relationships. I could see that these countries were going to be making a choice.
[Many] were trying to pull them into the Islamic world. The leaders of the countries were old communists, and they didn't want to be controlled by radical Islam; but at the same time, they didn't want to be controlled by Russia.
Source: From Power to Purpose, by Sam Brownback, p.162-3
, Jul 3, 2007
Talk directly to Iran; but confront them also
Q: Should the US be talking directly to Iran right now?
A: I think in the sense that we talked to them before we went into Afghanistan, but not with diplomatic arrangements, I think that could be useful, as recognized in the
Iraq Study Group report and proposal. I think it will be rejected by the Iranians, and I think more of what we have to do is confront them. Confront them economically, confront them multilaterally with the
Europeans, confront some of their weaknesses -- they import 40% of their refined fuel products.
There are some vulnerabilities that are there -- and put more pressure on them the way they have been putting a great deal of pressure and difficulty on us in that region of the world.
Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer
, Feb 25, 2007
Cut in half the anti-malaria budget for Africa
Pres. Bush announced in June 2005 a plan to furnish $1.2 billion for a 5-year campaign against malaria in 15 African countries where 175 million people are at risk. This would be a major contribution--if the promise is fulfilled.
The annual US foreign aid budget for fighting malaria, for instance, has been $90 million, but 95% of the money is being spent on consultants and less than 5% on mosquito nets, drugs, and insecticide spraying to fight the disease.
Senator Sam Brownback, a conservative Kansas Republican, has complained about this policy, and has introduced a bill to force the administration to spend half of its malaria budget on treatment. Brownback pointed out that the government's list of
contractors on its Web site has not been updated for 4 years. The senator said he had received only "vague descriptions and math that doesn't add up," and demanded an audit by the government accountability office.
Source: Our Endangered Values, by Jimmy Carter,p.188-189
, Sep 26, 2006
Voted YES on cooperating with India as a nuclear power.
Congressional Summary:US-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act:
- Approves the US-India Agreement for Cooperation on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
- Declares that it is US policy to prevent the transfer to India of nuclear equipment, materials, or technology from other participating governments in the Nuclear Suppliers Group or from any other source; and
- any nuclear power reactor fuel reserve provided to India for use in safeguarded civilian nuclear facilities should be commensurate with reasonable reactor operating requirements.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. HOWARD BERMAN (D, CA-28): Integrating India into a global nonproliferation regime is a positive step. Before anyone gets too sanctimonious about India's nuclear weapons program, we should acknowledge that the five recognized nuclear weapons states have not done nearly enough to fulfill their commitments under the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty, including making serious reductions in their own arsenals, nor in the case of the US in ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. BARBARA LEE (D, CA-9): In withholding my approval, I seek not to penalize the people of India but, rather, to affirm the principle of nuclear nonproliferation. Jettisoning adherence to the international nuclear nonproliferation framework that has served the world so well for more than 30 years, as approval of the agreement before us would do, is just simply unwise. It is also reckless.
Approval of this agreement undermines our efforts to dissuade countries like Iran and North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. By approving this agreement, all we are doing is creating incentives for other countries to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Reference: US-India Nuclear Agreement;
; vote number 2008-S211
on Oct 1, 2008
Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe.
H.R. 3167; Gerald B. H. Solomon Freedom Consolidation Act of 2001, To endorse the vision of further enlargement of the NATO Alliance. Vote to pass a bill that would support further expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, authorize military assistance to several eastern European countries and lift assistance restrictions on Slovakia.
; vote number 2002-116
on May 17, 2002
Voted YES on killing a bill for trade sanctions if China sells weapons.
Vote to table [kill] an amendment that would require sanctions against China or other countries if they were found to be selling illicit weapons of mass destruction.
; vote number 2000-242
on Sep 13, 2000
Voted YES on capping foreign aid at only $12.7 billion.
Adoption of the conference report on the 2000 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill provided $12.7 billion for foreign aid programs in 2000.
Vetoed by President ClintonVeto message of 10/18/1999: W cannot protect American interests at home without active engagement abroad. We must lead in the world, working with other nations to defuse crises, repel dangers, promote more open economic and political systems, and strengthen the rule of law. This bill rejects all of those principles.
The overall funding provided by H.R. 2606 is inadequate. By denying America a decent investment in diplomacy, this bill suggests we should meet threats to our security with our military might alone. That is a dangerous proposition. For if we underfund our diplomacy, we will end up overusing our military.
For example, A generation from now, no one is going to say we did too much to help the nations of the former Soviet Union safeguard their nuclear technology and expertise. If the funding cuts in this bill were to become law, future generations would certainly say we did too little and that we imperiled our future in the process.
Reference: H.R. 2606 Conference Report;
Bill H.R. 2606
; vote number 1999-312
on Oct 6, 1999
Status: Conf Rpt Agreed to Y)51; N)49
Voted NO on limiting the President's power to impose economic sanctions.
To kill a proposal limiting President Clinton's ability to impose economic sanctions on foreign nations.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)53; N)46; NV)1
Reference: Motion to table the Lugar Amdt #3156.;
Bill S. 2159
; vote number 1998-201
on Jul 15, 1998
Voted NO on limiting NATO expansion to only Poland, Hungary & Czech.
This amendment would have limited NATO Expansion to only include Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Status: Amdt Rejected Y)41; N)59
Reference: NATO Expansion limit-Warner Amdt. #2322;
Bill NATO Expansion Treaty #105-36
; vote number 1998-112
on Apr 30, 1998
Voted YES on $17.9 billion to IMF.
Would provide $17.9 billion for the International Monetary Fund.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)84; N)16
Reference: McConnell Amdt #2100;
Bill S. 1768
; vote number 1998-44
on Mar 26, 1998
Monitor human rights in Uganda-Sudan crisis.
Brownback sponsored the Northern Uganda Crisis Response Act
Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should: Became Public Law No: 108-283.
Source: Bill sponsored by 9 Senators 04-S2264 on Mar 31, 2004
- support efforts for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in northern and eastern Uganda;
- work with the Government of Uganda and the international community to make available sufficient resources to meet the relief and development needs of the towns and cities that are supporting large numbers of displaced people;
- urge the leaders and members of the Lord's Resistance Army to stop the abduction of children, and urge all armed forces in Uganda to stop the use of child soldiers, and seek the release of all individuals who have been abducted;
- urge the Government of Uganda to improve the professionalism of Ugandan military personnel currently stationed in northern and eastern Uganda, with an emphasis on respect for human rights and civilian protection;
- work with the international community to assist and increase the capacity of Ugandan civil institutions to monitor the human rights situation in northern Uganda;
- make clear that the relationship between Sudan and the United States cannot improve unless no credible evidence indicates that authorities of the Government of Sudan are providing support to the Lord's Resistance Army.
Sponsored aid bill to avert humanitarian crisis in Congo.
Brownback introduced increasing aid to avert humanitarian crisis in Congo
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:
A bill to promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
- Obligates a specified minimum amount under the Foreign Assistance Act, the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act, and the Arms Export Control Act for bilateral assistance programs in the DRC.
- States that the US should work with other donor nations to increase international contributions to the DRC.
- Expresses the sense of Congress that the DRC government should exercise control over its Armed Forces, stop the mass rapes by its armed forces, and hold those responsible accountable before an appropriate tribunal; and
- Expresses the sense of Congress that the US should withhold assistance if the government of the DRC is not making sufficient progress towards accomplishing the policy objectives.
SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. OBAMA: There is a country embroiled in conflict that has not yet
received the high-level attention or resources it needs. It's the Democratic Republic of Congo, and right now it is in the midst of a humanitarian catastrophe.
31,000 people are dying in the Congo each month and 3.8 million people have died in the previous 6 years. The country, which is the size of Western Europe, lies at the geographic heart of Africa and borders every major region across the continent. If left untended, Congo's tragedy will continue to infect Africa.
I believe that the United States can make a profound difference in this crisis. According to international aid agencies, there are innumerable cost-effective interventions that could be quickly undertaken--such as the provision of basic medical care, immunization and clean water--that could save thousands of lives. On the political front, sustained U.S. leadership could fill a perilous vacuum.
EXCERPTS OF BILL:
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Became Public Law No. 109-456
Source: Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act (S.2125) 05-S2125 on Dec 16, 2005
Co-chair of the Silk Road Congressional Caucus.
Brownback is the chair the Silk Road Congressional Caucus
The Silk Road refers to the ancient trade route through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan first explored by Marco Polo. The hope for the Silk Road Caucus is to help connect Central and South Asia and the Caucasus with the US, in an effort to encourage economic, cultural, and political exchange between our countries.
Why should Congress be interested in today's Silk Road?
Countries of the Silk Road are seeking a well-conceived and proactive policy of engagement, which authorizes U.S. assistance to support their economic and political independence. After decades of Communist rule, these countries have faced a tough road toward economic development and prosperity, and the cultivation of a democratic society. It is important for Congress to provide and guide increased aid to support conflict resolution, humanitarian relief, economic and democratic reform, and respect for human rights in the region.
- Silk Road countries desire a deeper engagement with the US.
- China and Russia have recently begun to project influence into the Silk Road region, in some cases at the expense of US interests.
- Silk Road petroleum reserves have the potential of expanding world supply, resulting in better prices for U.S. consumers.
- Some Silk Road nations possess weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. involvement is critical to curtailing WMD proliferation.
- Extremist Islamic fundamentalism is attempting to disrupt and dominate politics in the region.
It is clear that the U.S. can no longer abide by its current policy toward the region--one that emphasizes a stand back and watch approach. Economic prosperity, the growth of democracy, and the establishment of the rule of law in the Silk Road states is essential for regional stability and US national security. The US must actively engage this region--both economically and politically.
Source: Silk Road Caucus website 07-SRC0 on Nov 6, 2007
Implement Darfur Peace Agreement with UN peacekeeping force.
Brownback co-sponsored implementing Darfur Peace Agreement with UN peacekeeping force
A resolution calling for peace in Darfur.
Source: S.RES.455 08-SR455 on Feb 14, 2008
- Calls upon the government of Sudan and other signatories and non-signatories to the May 5, 2006, Darfur Peace Agreement to cease hostilities.
- Calls upon the government of Sudan to facilitate the deployment of the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force, including any non-African peacekeepers.
- Urges all invited individuals and movements to attend the next round of peace negotiations without preconditions.
- Condemns: (1) intimidation or threats against camp or civil society leaders to discourage them from attending the peace talks; and (2) actions by any party that undermines the Darfur peace process.
- Calls upon all parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to support all terms of the agreement.
- Legislative Outcome: Resolution agreed to in Senate, by Unanimous Consent.
Acknowledge the Armenian Genocide of the early 1900s.
Brownback co-sponsored acknowledging the Armenian Genocide of the early 1900s
Sen. DURBIN: The definition of "genocide" is "the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group." Scholars agree that what the Armenian people suffered in 1915 to 1917 fits the definition of genocide. To date, 19 countries and 37 US states recognize the Armenian Genocide. Genocide is wrong. It is evil. It is evil whether its victims are Armenians, Sudanese, Rwandan Tutsis, Cambodians or European Jews. Not to acknowledge genocide for what it is denigrates the memory of its victims. Recognition of genocide is part of the healing process. Official recognition will reaffirm our tradition of protecting the vulnerable and inspire us to not stand by and watch as genocide occurs in our time.
Source: Armenian Genocide Resolution (S.RES.106/H.RES.106) 2007-SR106 on Mar 14, 2007
- WHEREAS the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, and which succeeded in the elimination of more than 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland;
- WHEREAS, on May 24, 1915, the Allied Powers issued the joint statement of England, France, and Russia that explicitly charged, for the first time ever, another government of committing "a crime against humanity";
- WHEREAS, despite the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the failure of the domestic and international authorities to punish those responsible for the Armenian Genocide is a reason why similar genocides have recurred and may recur in the future, and that a just resolution will help prevent future genocides:
- NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Senate calls on the President, in the
President's annual message commemorating the Armenian Genocide, to accurately characterize the systematic annihilation of 1,500,000 Armenians as genocide and to recall the proud history of US intervention in opposition to the Armenian Genocide.
Support Iranian demonstrators against Iranian government.
Brownback signed bill supporting demonstrations against Iran
A resolution expressing support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law.
Source: SR.193&HR.549 2009-SR193 on Jun 19, 2009
- Expresses support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law.
- Condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the government of Iran and pro-government militias as well as the ongoing government suppression of independent electronic communication through interference with the Internet and cellphones.
- Affirms the universality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections.
Condemn Iran for state-sponsored persecution of Baha'i.
Brownback signed bill condemning Iran for persecution of Baha'i
A resolution condemning the Government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of the Baha'i minority in Iran and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights.
- Whereas since 1982, Congress declared that it deplored the religious persecution by the Government of Iran of the Baha'i community and would hold the Government of Iran responsible for upholding the rights of all Iranian nationals, including members of the Baha'i faith;
- Whereas in November 2007, the Iranian Ministry of Information in Shiraz jailed three Baha'is for educating underprivileged children and gave them 4-year prison terms, which they are serving;
- Whereas they were targeted solely on the basis of their religion;
- Whereas, on January 23, 2008, the US Department of State released a statement urging the Iranian regime to release all individuals held without due process and a fair trial, including the 3 young Baha'is being held;
- Whereas in March 2008,
Iranian intelligence officials arrested and imprisoned seven members of the coordinating group for the Baha'i community in Iran, on charges of 'espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic';Whereas these seven Baha'i leaders were targeted solely on the basis of their religion; and
- Whereas the Government of Iran is party to the International Covenants on Human Rights:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate and House of Representatives
- condemns the Government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of its Baha'i minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights;
- calls on the Government of Iran to immediately release the seven leaders and all other prisoners held solely on account of their religion; and
- calls on the President and Secretary of State, in cooperation with the international community, to immediately condemn Iran's continued violation of human rights.
Source: SR71&HR175 2009-SR71 on Feb 13, 2009
Pressure friendly Arab states to end Israeli boycott.
Brownback signed Schumer-Graham letter to Secy. Rice from 79 Congress members
Dear Secretary Rice,
Source: Schumer-Graham letter to Secy. Rice from 79 Congress members 2010-LT-AR on Oct 2, 2007
In the past, the lack of sufficient support from [non-participating] Arab states have made it difficult to reach agreements [on the Arab-Israeli conflict]. You should press friendly Arab countries that have not yet done so, to:
- Participate in the upcoming international meeting and be a full partner of the US in advancing regional peace
- Take visible, meaningful steps in the financial, diplomatic and political arena to help Palestinian President Abbas govern effectively and meet obligations to fight terror
- Stop support for terrorist groups and cease all anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement
- Recognize Israel's right to exist and not use such recognition as a bargaining chip for future Israeli concessions
- End the Arab League economic boycott of Israel in all of its forms
- Pressure Hamas to recognize Israel, reject terror, and accept prior agreements, and isolate Hamas until it takes such steps.
Page last updated: Feb 21, 2017