Bob Casey on War & Peace

Democratic Sr Senator (PA)


Supports Obama's Iran nuclear treaty

Q: Iran: Support Trump withdrawal from multinational treaty limiting Iran's nuclear capability & lifting economic sanctions?

Lou Barletta (R): Yes. Applauds Trump's decision.

Bob Casey (D): No. Strongly opposes Trump's decision.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Pennsylvania Senate race , Oct 9, 2018

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

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

Iran must accept long-term intrusive nuke inspection.

Casey signed demanding that Iran accept intrusive nuclear inspection

Excerpts from Letter from 85 Senators to President Obama We all hope that nuclear negotiations succeed in preventing Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapons capability. For diplomacy to succeed, however, we must couple our willingness to negotiate with a united and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime. We urge you to insist on the realization of these core principles with Iran:

Iran must clearly understand the consequences of failing to reach an acceptable final agreement. We must signal unequivocally to Iran that rejecting negotiations and continuing its nuclear weapon program will lead to much more dramatic sanctions, including further limitations on Iran`s oil exports.

Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, `Enforcing Iran Nuke Deal,` Jan. 25, 2017): More than anything else, the Iran nuclear deal must be kept because the alternative is a return to ever-heightening tensions and clamoring by hawks in both countries. From 2003 to 2014, years of unrelenting U.S. sanctions and confrontation, Iran went from 164 centrifuges to 19,000. The hostile approach generates a more expansive, less transparent Iranian nuclear program and increases the chances for another disastrous U.S. war in the Middle East. Let`s hope the Trump administration chooses not to go that route.

Source: Iran Nukes Letter 14LTR-NUKE on Mar 18, 2014

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

No military force against Iran without Congress approval.

Casey voted YEA the Iran War Powers Resolution

Axios.com summary: The House passed a symbolic war powers resolution directing President Trump to halt the use of military force against Iran unless he obtains approval from Congress.

The big picture: A classified briefing on the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani [by the US military] left Democrats and even some Republicans deeply skeptical, with many claiming that officials did not provide evidence that there was an `imminent` threat from Iran. Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) said they will vote in favor of a similar resolution in the Senate [S J Res 68].

What opponents are saying: Former national security adviser and notorious Iran hawk John Bolton tweeted: `The 1973 War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional. It reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Constitution allocated foreign affairs authority between the President and Congress. The Resolution should be repealed.` Pres. Trump quote tweeted Bolton and added: `Smart analysis, I fully agree!`

What supporters are saying: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was one of the few Republicans to vote in favor of the resolution, stating on the House floor: `Killing Soleimani was the right decision, but engaging in another forever war in the Middle East would be the wrong decision.` Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced legislation that would block funding for offensive military force against Iran without congressional authorization. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) is also seeking to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which has been used repeatedly to justify war in the Middle East in the wake of 9/11. Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against the AUMF in 2001, criticizing it as a `blank check.`

Legislative outcome: H Con Res 83 Passed House 224-194-13 on 1/9/20; S J Res 68 passed Senate 55-45-0 on 2/13/20. Vetoed 5/6; Senate veto override failed 5/7/20.

Source: Congressional vote 20-SCR33 on Jan 9, 2020

Sponsored resolution to repeal 2002 AUMF against Iraq.

Casey co-sponsored AUMF Repeal Act

Politico.com in OPPOSITION, 3/25/21: Republicans who opposed repealing the 2002 authorization said that it should be replaced because Iraq is still home to terror groups that threaten the United States. Rep. Michael McCaul called for consultations with first in order to craft a replacement. `Real AUMF reform requires Congress and the administration working together on actual text to replace the aging 2001 and 2002 AUMFs to provide authorities needed to keep the American people, and, most importantly, our deployed troops, safe from terrorists,` McCaul said.

Heritage Foundation in SUPPORT (1/6/20): There has been an open and vibrant debate about whether the 2001 AUMF covers ISIS, a terrorist organization that did not even exist when the 2001 statute was passed and has disavowed and formally broken away from al-Qaeda, the group that is covered by the 2001 AUMF. Yet both the Obama and Trump Administrations claim that the 2001 AUMF covers ISIS and associated forces. Congress has shied away from the much-needed debate about whether the 2002 Iraq AUMF is no longer necessary.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 268-161-2 on H.R.256 on 6/17/2021 (rollcall 172; no vote on S.J.R.10 nor H.R.3261 in 2021)

Source: SJ10/H3261/H256 21-SJR10 on Jun 17, 2021

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