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Bob Casey on War & Peace

Democratic Sr Senator (PA)


Iraq: No deadline, no timeline, but replace Rumsfeld

Q: 18 Democrats have called for the End the War in Iraq Act of 2005 to cut off funding for the war. Would you vote to cut off funding?

CASEY: I don’t think we can. I’m not ready to abandon this mission; I think a lot of Americans are not, either. What has to happen in Iraq is what you’ve not seen. We need new leadership. We don’t need a deadline or a timeline; we need new leadership. That means replacing Donald Rumsfeld and finding out how and whether we were lied to with regard to intelligence.

Source: Meet the Press: PA 2006 Senate Debate, Tim Russert moderator , Sep 3, 2006

Would have voted for Iraq War, but based on false evidence

Q: You told The Philadelphia Inquirer August 2005 that you “would have voted for the war considering the evidence at the time, and supported the spending bills that funded the effort.” Knowing what you know today, would you still have voted for the war?

CASEY: If a lot of Americans knew then what they know now, they would have thought that this war shouldn’t have been fought based upon the misleading of this administration.

Q: But in ‘05 you said you’d vote for it. Would you today in ‘06 vote for it?

CASEY: Based upon the evidence that was presented then, which I think was misleading, and I think it was faulty. The intelligence was faulty. Today, I think there wouldn’t have been a vote and I think people would have changed.

Source: Meet the Press: PA 2006 Senate Debate, Tim Russert moderator , Sep 3, 2006

No withdrawal deadline in Iraq; but we must change course

CASEY: Sen. Santorum basically says, “Stay the course in Iraq.” I think we’ve go got to change the course.

Q: Is your stance evolving? In April ‘05, you said, “The key thing now is to finish the job.” In October ‘05, you said, “Some people think that pulling out is a good idea and a timeline is a good idea - I don’t agree with that. We’ve got more work to do to make sure that we get it right.” Then in June ‘06, you said, “U.S. troops should be removed from Iraq. by the end of the year.” Should we finish the job? Or should we remove the troops by the end of the year?

CASEY: I’ve never favored a deadline in this whole campaign. Because we have to do everything we can to hold the administration accountable. This thing is headed toward civil war. When you have it heading in the wrong direction, you’ve got to have a new course.

Q: So for legislation which says, “All troops out by July of 2007,” Bob Casey votes no.

CASEY: Absolutely.

Source: Meet the Press: PA 2006 Senate Debate, Tim Russert moderator , Sep 3, 2006

We need more Special Forces and better body armor

Q: Would you put more troops in Iraq?

CASEY: What we need in Iraq is a plan. One of the things that we could be doing with the global war on terror, is to have more Special Forces out there. Doubling the number of Special Forces, having counterproliferation units run by the Special Forces that intercept nuclear, biological, chemical, potential weapons around the world.

Q: Do we need more troops?

CASEY: What we need in Iraq right now is some accountability. [US troops] can still be there, but the Iraqis can take the lead and get the Americans out of the front line.

Q: And what if you left behind a haven for terrorists?

CASEY: The objective here is to make sure we’re doing everything possible to give the American people the information they need and to protect our troops. And I think it’s an abomination that Rick Santorum did not call for or insist upon the best body armor when those troops needed it.

Source: Meet the Press: PA 2006 Senate Debate, Tim Russert moderator , Sep 3, 2006

Sanctions against Iran, but in a tough and skilled way

Q: Should we launch a military attack against Iran?

SANTORUM: No, we have an opportunity to go after them by using pro-democracy forces outside and within Iran, and to crack down with additional sanctions. That’s the one-two punch [outlined in my proposed bill]. The administration so far has opposed me on that.

Q: No military option?

SANTORUM: That’s part of the 2% that President Bush doesn’t agree with me on.

CASEY: There’s no question that the policy of our government has to be to do everything possible to make sure that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon. And we’ve got to use sanctions in a very skilled way. We agree that sanctions have got to be very tough.

SANTORUM: You would have voted for my bill?

CASEY: Absolutely. I have to ask about the most prominent critic of Iran’s sanctions, Dick Cheney. Are you going to denounce him for continually opposing sanctions?

SANTORUM: I disagree with him on sanctions, but I don’t denounce people because I disagree with them.

Source: Meet the Press: PA 2006 Senate Debate, Tim Russert moderator , Sep 3, 2006

Bring our troops home as soon as possible

Bob Casey supports our brave men and women who are serving their country, especially those who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He will work to ensure they have all necessary equipment and support. Our military must remain strong.

Bob Casey understands that Washington must do more to train the Iraqi security forces so we can bring our troops home as soon as possible.

Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, bobcaseyforpa.com, “Issues” , Feb 22, 2006

Disagrees with timeline & pulling troops out

Casey said he would have voted for the war considering the evidence at the time, and supported the spending bills that funded the effort. But when asked to outline his plan for Iraq, including whether he favored a deadline for pulling troops out of the country, Casey would not offer specifics, saying, ‘I don’t think you can, as a matter of policy, articulate a long-term strategy if you don’t have the facts to make that determination.’.

Casey said, ‘Once it was under way, like a lot of Americans, I was supportive of what our troops were trying to do there, based on what we were told by our government. We found out later the intelligence was, at best, faulty and, at worst, misleading. We can learn a lot of lessons from that, but the key thing now is to finish the job.’

Casey said, ‘Some people think that pulling out is a good idea and a timeline is a good idea -- I don’t agree with that.’

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer & Centre Daily News , Oct 22, 2005

Ask tough questions about colossal intelligence failure

Q: Do you think the Bush administration deceived the American public in the run up to the war in Iraq?

A: A lot of Americans feel we were deceived and there is evidence to back up that feeling. I don’t think we were intentionally mislead, but there’s no question that at best, we experienced a colossal intelligence failure. We didn’t have a plan to win the peace. We listened too much to Pentagon and not enough to the State Department about the kind of challenges were likely to face. But what’s important now is to focus on where we are currently, and clearly there are problems with the way the administration is conducting the war: the lack of enough troops, the lack of sufficient armor, the failure to train enough Iraqi troops so we can bring our own troops, who have fought heroically, home. Unfortunately, Sen. Santorum has not been asking any tough questions. Leading Republicans, like Senators Hagel and McCain, have raised legitimate questions about the conduct of this war.

Source: The Philadelphia Jewish Voice , Oct 9, 2005

Finish the job in Iraq

On Iraq. “Once it was under way, like a lot of Americans, I was supportive of what our troops were trying to do there, based on what we were told by our government. We found out later the intelligence was, at best, faulty and, at worst, misleading. We can learn a lot of lessons from that, but the key thing now is to finish the job.”
Source: Gar Joseph, Philadelphia Daily News , Apr 29, 2005

Voted NO on redeploying non-essential US troops out of Iraq in 9 months.

Vote to transition the missions of US Forces in Iraq to a more limited set of missions as specified by the President on September 13, 2007: S.AMDT.3875 amends S.AMDT.3874 and underlying bill H.R.2764:

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. LEVIN: "The amendment requires redeployment be completed within 9 months. At that point, funding for the war would be ended, with four narrow exceptions:"

  1. Security for US Government personnel and infrastructure
  2. Training Iraqi security forces
  3. Equipment to US service men and women to ensure their safety
Targeted operations against members of al-Qaida.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. McCAIN: "This year, after nearly 4 years of mismanaged war, our military has made significant gains under the so-called surge. Overall violence in Iraq has fallen to its lowest level since [2003]. Improvised explosive device blasts now occur at a rate lower than at any point since September 2004.

"Al-Qaida's leadership knows which side is winning in Iraq. It may not be known in some parts of America and in this body, but al-Qaida knows. We are succeeding under the new strategy.

"Given these realities, some proponents of precipitous withdrawal from Iraq have shifted their focus. While conceding, finally, that there have been dramatic security gains, they have begun seizing on the lackluster performance of the Iraqi Government to insist that we should abandon the successful strategy and withdraw U.S. forces. This would be a terrible mistake."

Reference: Safe Redeployment Of US Troops From Iraq Amendment; Bill S.AMDT.3875 to H.R.2764 ; vote number 2007-437 on Dec 18, 2007

Voted YES on designating Iran's Revolutionary Guards as terrorists.

Vote on a "Sense of the Senate" amendment, S.Amdt. 3017, to H.R. 1585 (National Defense Authorization Act), that finds:

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. LIEBERMAN: Some of our colleagues thought the Sense of the Senate may have opened the door to some kind of military action against Iran [so we removed some text]. That is not our intention. In fact, our intention is to increase the economic pressure on Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps so that we will never have to consider the use of the military to stop them from what they are doing to kill our soldiers.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. BIDEN. I will oppose the Kyl-Lieberman amendment for one simple reason: this administration cannot be trusted. I am very concerned about the evidence that suggests that Iran is engaged in destabilizing activities inside Iraq. Arguably, if we had a different President who abided by the meaning and intent of laws we pass, I might support this amendment. I fear, however, that this President might use the designation of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist entity as a pretext to use force against Iran as he sees fit. [The same was done with the Senate resolution on Iraq in 2002]. Given this President's actions and misuse of authority, I cannot support the amendment.

Reference: Sense of the Senate on Iran; Bill S.Amdt. 3017 to H.R. 1585 ; vote number 2007-349 on Sep 26, 2007

Voted YES on redeploying US troops out of Iraq by March 2008.

Begins the phased redeployment of US forces from Iraq within 120 days of enactment of this joint resolution with the goal of redeploying by March 31, 2008, all US combat forces from Iraq, except for a limited number essential for protecting US and coalition personnel and infrastructure, training and equipping Iraqi forces, and conducting targeted counter-terrorism operations. Such redeployment shall be implemented as part of a diplomatic, political, and economic strategy that includes sustained engagement with Iraq's neighbors and the international community in order to bring stability to Iraq.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

Our troops are caught in the midst of a civil war. The administration has begun to escalate this war with 21,000 more troops. This idea is not a new one. During this war, four previous surges have all failed. It is time for a different direction. It is time for a drawdown of our troops.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

This resolution calls for imposing an artificial timeline to withdraw our troops from Iraq, regardless of the conditions on the ground or the consequences of defeat; a defeat that will surely be added to what is unfortunately a growing list of American humiliations. This legislation would hobble American commanders in the field and substantially endanger America's strategic objective of a unified federal democratic Iraq that can govern, defend, and sustain itself and be an ally in the war against Islamic fascism. The unintended consequence of this resolution is to bring to reality Osama bin Laden's vision for Iraq; that after 4 years of fighting in Iraq the US Congress loses its will to fight. If we leave Iraq before the job is done, as surely as night follows day, the terrorists will follow us home. Osama bin Laden has openly said: America does not have the stomach to stay in the fight. He is a fanatic. He is an Islamic fascist. He is determined to destroy us and our way of life.

Reference: US Policy in Iraq Resolution; Bill S.J.Res.9 ; vote number 2007-075 on Mar 15, 2007

Iranian nuclear weapons: prevention instead of containment.

Casey co-sponsored Resolution on Iran's nuclear program

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, that Congress--
  1. Reaffirms that the US Government has a vital interest in working together to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  2. warns that time is limited to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  3. urges continued and increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran until a full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related activities;
  4. expresses that the window for diplomacy is closing;
  5. expresses support for the universal rights and democratic aspirations of the people of Iran;
  6. strongly supports US policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  7. rejects any US policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.
Source: HRes568/SR41 12-SJR41 on May 24, 2012

Sanctions on Iran to end nuclear program.

Casey 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

Other candidates on War & Peace: Bob Casey on other issues:
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Page last updated: Dec 21, 2013