Mark Warner on War & Peace
Democratic Jr Senator; previously Governor
Important to consult on war with Congress & allies
There is usually a Congressional consulting process. It's both constitutionally required, but it's also important because one, you potentially get members of Congress to buy in ahead of time, and two they may ask that hard question that's not asked in
an insular group. And you consult your allies, because we don't want to go this alone. By not consulting particularly with our NATO allies, NATO forces in Iraq have already stopped training the Iraqi troops. That does not make us stronger.
Source: Meet the Press interview for 2020 Virginia senate race
, Jan 5, 2020
Keep military action on the table against Iran
There was general agreement on foreign policy: Both Warner and Gillespie agreed that the U.S. should never take military action off the table against Iran, and that Israel is America's closest ally in the Middle East.
On keeping troops in Afghanistan, [the debate moderator]asked whether Gillespie is closer to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) or Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
He did not directly answer, but he sounded a lot closer to the McCain view in arguing that troops should be there "as long as they're serving our national security interests."
Warner said he thinks Colin Powell was right when he said "you break it, you own it."
"Pottery Barn," Gillespie interjected.
Source: Politico.com weblog on 2014 Virginia Senate debate
, Jul 26, 2014
No timetable to end war in Iraq
Gilmore said he would support pursuing the war in Iraq to completion. Warner said he would not set a timeline for troops to come home from Iraq. But Gilmore accused Warner of changing his stance from last year, when he said troops should start to leave i
January 2009. Gilmore said the troops should stay as long as needed. “Any kind of timetable is not responsible,” he said. “This is not the way to be conducting foreign policy in Iraq.”
Source: Washington Post on 2008 VA Senate debate
, Sep 19, 2008
Withdraw from Iraq but no arbitrary timeline
The two men differed on foreign policy: Warner said he favors the withdrawal of troops from Iraq but not on an “arbitrary timeline.” He said he has not completely agreed with either Obama or
McCain on the issue, but clarified that he previously stated troop withdrawal should begin in January. Gilmore said there should be no timeline for troop withdrawal.
Source: 2008 VA Senate Debate in The Washington Times
, Sep 19, 2008
Redeploy troops to Afghanistan; focus on Pakistan & Iran
Warner said the country is facing the need to redeploy troops to Afghanistan. He said Pakistan, along with Iran, is one of the most dangerous countries in the world because of its “potential threat.”
He softened the statement after the debate and said Pakistan is “a potential flashpoint” in world affairs.
Source: 2008 VA Senate Debate in The Washington Times
, Sep 19, 2008
Sensible timeline to bring troops home from Iraq
Governor Warner believes that we need to work with our military leaders to develop a sensible timeline to start to bring our brave troops home from Iraq, so that we can put real pressure on the
Iraqis to step-up and take more responsibility for their country. We need to properly support our troops by providing the money and resources to care for our wounded veterans when they come home.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, markwarner2008.com, “Issues”
, Apr 4, 2008
On Hezbollah soldier abductions: “Stands with Israel”
The violence between Israel and Lebanon topped the agenda of US and world leaders gathered in St. Petersburg, Russia, for the G8 summit. Reactions within the US political system were largely supportive of Israel’s actions in Lebanon.
Former Virginia governor Mark Warner, a possible Democratic Party candidate for the presidency in 2008, said he “stands with Israel” in calling for the immediate release of the soldiers.
Source: 2008 Speculation by Nathan Gutman in Jerusalem Post
, Jul 16, 2006
Supports deployment of US troops to the former Yugoslavia
Source: 1996 Congressional National Political Awareness Test
, Jul 2, 1996
- Do you support the deployment of US troops to the former Yugoslavia? YES
- Should the US have diplomatic relations with the government of Cuba? NO
- Should the US recognize and extend full diplomatic relations to Taiwan? NO
- Should the US continue funding for Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty? YES
- Should the US continue funding for Radio Marti and TV Marti? YES
- Should the US continue funding for Radio Free Asia? YES
Iranian nuclear weapons: prevention instead of containment.
Warner co-sponsored Resolution on Iran's nuclear program
Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the nuclear program of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, that Congress--
- Whereas, since at least the late 1980s, Iran has engaged in a sustained pattern of illicit and deceptive activities to acquire nuclear capability;
- Whereas the UN Security Council has adopted multiple resolutions since 2006 demanding the full suspension of all uranium enrichment-related activities by Iran, particularly possible military dimensions;
- Whereas, in Nov. 2011, the IAEA issued an extensive report that documents "serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme";
- Whereas top leaders of Iran have repeatedly threatened the existence of the State of Israel;
- Whereas the Department of State has designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984;
- Whereas Iran has provided weapons, training, & funding to terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Shiite militias in Iraq;
Whereas Iran had forged a "secret deal" with al Qaeda to facilitate the movement of al Qaeda fighters and funding through Iranian territory;
Source: HRes568/SR41 12-SJR41 on May 24, 2012
- Reaffirms that the US Government has a vital interest in working together to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
- warns that time is limited to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
- urges continued and increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran until a full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related activities;
- expresses that the window for diplomacy is closing;
- expresses support for the universal rights and democratic aspirations of the people of Iran;
- strongly supports US policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
- rejects any US policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.
Sponsored shutting down Iranian foreign reserves.
Warner co-sponsored Iran Sanctions Loophole Elimination Act
Congressional Summary:Prohibits US-based correspondent accounts or a payable-through accounts by a foreign financial institution that knowingly:
- conducted or facilitated a significant transaction on behalf of the Central Bank of Iran, or another Iranian financial institution, or a person involved in the energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors of Iran
- Authorizes sanctions pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
Arguments for and against bill: (New York Times, May 8, 2013): Seeking to escalate pressure on Iran, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would deny the Iranian government access to its foreign exchange reserves, estimated to be worth as much as $100 billion. The legislation would be the first major new sanction confronting Iran since its inconclusive round of negotiations last month on its disputed nuclear program.
Sponsors of the legislation contend that Iran is not bargaining in good
faith while it continues to enrich uranium. Part of the reason, they say, is that Iran has been able to work around the worst effects of the sanctions by tapping its foreign currency reserves overseas, which are largely beyond the reach of current restrictions. "Closing the foreign currency loophole in our sanctions policy is critical in our efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability," the sponsors said.
Critics said the new legislation risked further alienating Iranians who suspect that the sanctions' true purpose is not to pressure Iran in the nuclear negotiations, but to cause an economic implosion that would lead to regime change. "When we've cemented a sanctions escalation path, we're creating a trajectory toward actual confrontation," said the founder of the National Iranian American Council, a Washington group that opposes sanctions. Some Iranian leaders, he said, see the sanctions "as a train that can only go in one direction and has no brakes."
Source: S.892 13-S892 on May 8, 2013
Iran must accept long-term intrusive nuke inspection.
Warner 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.
- Iran has no inherent right to enrichment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
- Any agreement must dismantle Iran's nuclear weapons program and prevent it from ever having a path to a nuclear bomb.
- Iran has no reason to have an enrichment facility like Fordow, and that the regime must give up its heavy water reactor at Arak.
- Iran must submit to a long-term and intrusive inspection and verification regime.
- Iran must not be allowed during these negotiations to circumvent sanctions.
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
No military force against Iran without Congress approval.
Warner 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), one of the president's most loyal allies in Congress, 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; analogous bill S J Res 68 passed Senate 55-45-0 on 2/13/20.
Source: Supreme Court case 20-SCR33 argued on Jan 9, 2020
Sanctions on Iran to end nuclear program.
Warner signed Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act
Expresses the sense of Congress that:
- 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;
- US concerns regarding Iran are strictly the result of that government's actions; and
- 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:
- support international diplomatic efforts to end Iran's uranium enrichment program and its nuclear weapons program;
- 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;
- impose sanctions
on the Central Bank of Iran and any other Iranian financial institution engaged in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups; and
- 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
- Amends the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 to direct the President to impose sanctions if a person has made an investment of $20 million or more (or any combination of investments of at least $5 million which in the aggregate equals or exceeds $20 million in any 12-month period) that directly and significantly contributed to Iran's ability to develop its petroleum resources. (Under current law the sanction thresholds are $40 million, $10 million, and $40 million, respectively.)
- Establishes additional sanctions prohibiting specified foreign exchange, banking, and property transactions.
- Includes refined petroleum resources.
Other candidates on War & Peace:
Mark Warner on other issues:
Senate races 2019-20:
Senate Votes (analysis)
Senate Office SR-459A, Washington, DC 20510
Page last updated: May 02, 2020