Jeff Merkley on Foreign Policy
Democratic Jr Senator (OR)
A: The US needs to work closely with other nations to address the world’s most pressing issues. I am appalled that the Bush Administration has damaged America’s reputation by misleading both the American public and other nations about the threat posed by Iraq by claiming that Iraq was pursuing “weapons of mass destruction.” I am deeply disturbed by America’s go-it-along philosophy, blatant disregard for the Geneva Convention, and the use of secret prisons, extraordinary renditions, and torture. America cannot take on the complicated issues facing the world without working in partnership with the world. The next Administration, supported by Congress, needs to restore a respectful dialogue with the world and work in collaboration to tackle environmental issues, international health issues, trade and economic policy, and nuclear proliferation and other security issues.
A: Yes. I absolutely support such payments. It is time for the US to shed its reputation for being continually in arrears and to show leadership in supporting international institutions.
Q: Will you oppose legislation that withholds U.S. dues to the U.N.?
A: Yes. I would oppose such legislation under most circumstances.
A: Yes. The US needs to have a much broader view of national security than it has currently, with much less of an emphasis on military equipment and the projection of force and much more reliance on international stability and collaboration.
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.
Excerpts from Letter from 12 Senators to President Trump: Since the onset of South Sudan's civil war in 2013, at least 50,000 people have been killed and approximately 3 million have fled their homes. The African Union and the United Nations have documented numerous human rights abuses and warned of potential genocide. The assaults on civilians carried out during the course of the fighting in July 2016 between government and opposition forces shocked the conscience of the world, and served to demonstrate that the August 2015 peace agreement has failed. To date, the government has not held anyone accountable for the violence, nor for attacking a U.S. diplomatic convoy.
UN peacekeepers are protecting over 200,000 people who might otherwise be dead at UN bases in South Sudan. The UN Security Council approved an additional 4,000 peacekeepers in the wake of the July violence. Unfortunately, the government continues to obstruct the deployment of these troops.
In Sudan, it is critical that we ensure that Khartoum lives up to its agreement to adhere to its ceasefires, allow free and unfettered humanitarian access to all parts of Sudan and stop supporting rebel movements in South Sudan.
Supporting argument: (Heritage Foundation, 1/22/2014): The number of casualties and refugees in South Sudan is straining government and international humanitarian efforts. Pressure must be applied to both the government of South Sudan and the rebel faction to reconcile peacefully. The U.S. has a key role to play in the mediation efforts. South Sudan is one of the largest recipients of U.S. bilateral aid in sub-Saharan Africa, and the U.S. was instrumental in helping the young country gain independence and stand up its government. The U.S. should focus now on ending the conflict, political reconciliation, and humanitarian assistance.
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