James Webb on Foreign Policy

Democratic Sr Senator


Greatest strategic threat: resolving relationship with China

The greatest strategic threat that we have is resolving our relationship with China. And we need to do this because of their aggression in the region. We need to do it because of the way they treat their own people. I would say this to the unelected, authoritarian government of China: You do not own the South China Sea. You do not have the right to conduct cyber warfare against millions of Americans.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 13, 2015

Prepare for unpredictable actions by North Korea

Q: Based on your experience in Asian affairs, how serious is this situation with North Korea?

A: Well, they are a very opaque regime, and as a result, you have to be prepared for unpredictable actions from them. We are the guarantor of stability in all of the Asian Rim. We have been since the end of World War II. in the long term, this is an opportunity for us to get a confidence-building with China. This is an area where China has some influence, and perhaps can help us resolve a situation. The questions I would have with respect to this administration's policy have been the actions of China in the Senkaku Islands and then all the way down along the Rim, in the Spratlys, where they are very clearly expanding their military presence. And I think we could do a lot more.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 23, 2015

Prefers confidence building gestures to deal with Iran

Q: You said this week about the Iran deal that the administration is trying to get: "The end result of this could be acquiescence in allowing Iran to develop a nuclear weapon." Sounds like you would walk away from the table, is that fair?

WEBB: I would be hesitant with what I see right now, what we do not want to do at this point is to send a signal to the region that we are accepting the notion that eventually Iran would be acquiring nuclear weapons. There are other ways we can improve relations with Iran, confidence building gestures as we did with the Soviet Union over many years.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 12, 2015

China is the greatest long term threat to America

Q: General Dunford was up on Capital Hill and was asked what is the biggest threat facing the US. He quickly answered Russia. Do you agree with him?

WEBB: I would probably say China is a long-term strategic threat, if you look at the expansion that they have conducted over the last 15 years. I've been talking about in the South China Sea and building blue water navy. I take General Dunford's point about the turbulence with respect to Russia, but I think our friends and allies in Europe have done a pretty good job of helping us address that.

Q: As president, would you send weapons to the Ukrainians for example?

WEBB: I would be open to looking at that.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 12, 2015

We need a clearly articulated doctrine for the Mideast

Q: What about phrases like "boots on the ground"? Does that politicize the issues of combat troops, does that have an impact on soldiers?

JIM WEBB: Well, it doesn't. And actually, I think it's fair to say right now that we are at a crossroads as a nation in terms of how we view ourselves, how we say these things to ourselves. And the way that these issues are going to be resolved in the next couple of years will affect us for a very long time. We have not had a clear articulation of what American foreign policy is, basically since the end of the Cold War. So when you're looking at places like Iraq and Syria, you're seeing policies that can't be clearly articulated.

Q: You're basically saying President Obama doesn't have a foreign policy.

WEBB: I'm saying that in terms of a clear doctrine, we have been lacking that for a very long time. And it particularly impacts the Middle East.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 5, 2014

Arab Spring: stay out if no Americans at risk

Q: The beginning of the Arab Spring was Egypt. Was supporting that a mistake?

WEBB: I think what you were seeing in Egypt was: make sure you've got a clear grasp on where you're going before you leave where you are. This was accentuated in Libya. I spoke very strongly against the notion that a president could unilaterally conduct military operations in an area where we had no treaties at work, we had no Americans under attack or at risk. And you take a look at the end result of Libya, are an enormous number of weapons that are unaccountable, which are probably in Syria, and can you get to the Tripoli airport today? And who's talking about that? Now if you take a look at Syria, and these other parts of Iraq, we now have a situation where we're asking these freedom fighters, or whatever you want to call them, who were going after Assad, to help us go after ISIS.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 5, 2014

Focus on strategic threats like China, not Iraq

The Senate shares the foreign policy power with the president. When Iím in the Senate, Iíll use that power not only to stop the rubber stamp thatís been given to the White House, but to shift our focus back to where it belongs: the broader, international war on terror, and the strategic threats of emerging nations such as China. That means working with allies, partnering with armed forces around the globe, sharing common burdens and working for the common good.
Source: Campaign announcement speech , Apr 28, 2006

Voted YES on cooperating with India as a nuclear power.

Congressional Summary:US-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act:

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; Bill HR.7081 ; vote number 2008-S211 on Oct 1, 2008

Rated +1 by AAI, indicating a mixed Arab/Palestine voting record.

Webb scores +1 by AAI on Arab-Israeli issues

The Arab American Institute has compiled a Scorecard to catalogue the voting record of the 112th Congress on issues of importance to the Arab American community. Though not comprehensive, we have attempted to provide a snapshot of legislation concerning many of the primary issues concerning Arab Americans. For the Senate, we have included 10 items: two bills on the Arab Spring, three on Palestine, one on Lebanon, one regarding civil liberties, and two for immigration reform.

  1. S. Res. 44: (+) calls on former President Hosni Mubarak to immediately begin a peaceful transition to a democratic political system
  2. S. Res. 109: (+) honoring and supporting women in North Africa and the Middle East
  3. S. Res. 138: (-) calling on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone report, formally known as the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which accused the Israeli government of targeting Palestinian civilians.
  4. S. Res. 185: (-) reaffirming the commitment of the US to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and calling for a US veto of any UN resolution on Palestinian statehood without a settlement.
  5. S. Con. Res. 23: (-) supporting Israel in maintaining defensible borders, and against Israel returning to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967
  6. S. 558: (+) the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act, to limit the use of cluster munitions in areas normally inhabited by civilians.
  7. S. 1125: (+) greater judicial review of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and greater protections to individuals being monitored or gag-ordered by the FBI.
  8. S.1038, the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act, in opposition of PATRIOT Act extension.
  9. S. 723: (-) The Birthright Citizenship Act, limiting citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants born in the US.
  10. S. 952: (+) the DREAM Act, allowing undocumented minors to become US citizens, provided they meet certain conditions, including good moral character
Source: AAI website 12-AAI-S on May 2, 2012

Allow travel between the United States and Cuba.

Webb signed Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act

Prohibits the President from regulating or prohibiting travel to or from Cuba by U.S. citizens or legal residents or any of the transactions ordinarily incident to such travel, except in time of war or armed hostilities between the United States and Cuba, or of imminent danger to the public health or the physical safety of U.S. travelers.

Source: S.428&HR.874 2009-S428 on Feb 12, 2009

Other candidates on Foreign Policy: James Webb on other issues:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
2016 Democratic Candidates:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Dr.Jill Stein(G-MA)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
2016 GOP Candidates:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

About James Webb:
AmericansElect quiz
MyOcracy quiz

Page last updated: Mar 24, 2016