View Full Version : Where does Tom Campbell stand on foreign policy?

02-25-2010, 12:08 PM
Tom Campbell recently switched to the California Senate race to compete with Chuck DeVore and Carly Fiorina in the GOP Primary (to go against Barbara Boxer in the general election).

Where does he stand on the "wars" (now police actions) in Iraq and Afghanistan. What is his stand on confronting Iran?

He is vague on his campaign website, and is not inclined to answer questions. Any Campbell supporters have any more info or links?


National Security

As a Member of Congress, from 1988 to 1992, and 1995 to 2000, I had two occasions to vote on going to war. A vote to go to war is the most important vote a Member of Congress can ever cast.

I voted to go to war when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait; the conflict known as "Desert Storm" or "The First Gulf War." Senator Barbara Boxer was a Member of the House of Representatives then, and she voted against going to war.

Allowing Saddam Hussein to invade a neighboring country and merge it with his own by force was unthinkable to me. President George H.W. Bush said, "This will not stand." General Norman Schwarzkopf presided over one of the greatest victories in modern US military history. Aerial bombardment proceeded for many weeks, then US troops swept out of Saudi Arabia to encircle Saddam’s troops.

During the course of the aerial bombardment, Congresswoman Barbara Boxer called for a "pause for peace." She recommended that we stop the bombing of Iraq, and engage in further dialogue. At precisely this same time, Saddam Hussein was firing SCUD missiles into Israel and Saudi Arabia. We now know that he was only crudely able to calibrate those missiles; and that, had we "paused for peace," he would have been able to calibrate them much more effectively.

There are occasions when the United States must use force in the world. When we do, we should follow the Powell Doctrine: overwhelming force directed toward an achievable goal. And, once we set our hand to the task, we should not stop until it is completed.

This is the clearest contrast possible between two records on national security, my record, and that of now-Senator Barbara Boxer. Here is another contrast.

There are also occasions when the United States should decline the invitation to go to war. This is especially so where United States’interests are not directly at risk, or where success will depend upon many years’ involvement in nation-building. For that reason, I opposed President Clinton’s war over Kosovo.

Even more important to what I did, whether President Clinton’s war over Kosovo was wise or not, it was an undeclared war. Congress never gave its approval. Therefore, after the requisite 90 days under the War Powers Resolution, I brought a vote to the House Floor on the Kosovo war. The leaders of both parties in the House opposed my demanding a vote, but I believed that it was my Constitutional duty, and the duty of every other Member of the House or Senate, to vote yes or no on going to war. By contrast, there was no such vote in the US Senate. Although Senator Boxer, and everyone else on the Hill, knew of my resolution, and of the eventual House vote, she did not bring a similar motion to the Senate floor.

The outcome in the House was that approval was NOT given for the war. Nevertheless, President Clinton continued the war, so I, and a bipartisan group of 37 other Members of Congress, I brought suit in federal court seeking a declaratory judgment that the war was unconstitutional. (Our case failed for absence of "standing," and the US Supreme Court declined our appeal.)

From these instances, when I was in public office, I hope voters will take away two very important lessons about my approach to National Security. I will not shrink to authorize the President to use force when America’s interests are directly at stake. And I will not hide behind Presidential unilateral power when it is the duty of the Congress: House and Senate, to vote yes or no on going to war.