Peter King on War & Peace

Rep./Ind./Cons./Right-To-Life Representative (NY-3)


Attacking ISIS in Syria is in our national interest

Q: Congress is now on record giving bipartisan approval to President Obama's plan to train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. Are we getting enough support, especially military support, active military action by our international allies?

KING: No, so far we're not. And where I disagree with the president on this--to me, attacking ISIS in Syria is in our national interest. Now if we can get allies, if we can get a coalition together, that's fine, and we should work on it. But we can't be beholden to a coalition because we're not doing this out of humanitarian purposes and quite frankly we're not doing it for the people of Syria or Iraq. Ultimately we're doing it because it's in our national interest to do so. And if that's the case, we can't be holding back. We should attack and strike and do all we can to the command and control centers that ISIS has in Syria. That is a key component of ISIS located in Syria so we shouldn't be waiting for other countries.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2014 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 21, 2014

Don't let Iran participate in our fight against ISIS

Q: What about allowing Iran assist in the fight against ISIS?

KING: I think it's a terrible mistake. Iran is powerful enough. Ultimately they are the main threat in that part of the world, and to be doing anything at all to build them up, to give them sanctuary, to in effect have them on our side, what does that do to Israel? What does that do to their nuclear development in plan? I think it weakens our position. I cannot understand why we want to get Iran involved.

The president said absolutely no US boots on the ground in a combat role. Will US forces at some point have to get involved in some kind of a combat role?

KING: Well, we already have American troops on the ground. We have Special Forces there. They are obviously in harm's way. And I don't see how ultimately we can avoid putting combat troops on the ground in some capacity. But more than that, I don't know why the president says up front that we're not going to put boots on the ground. Don't take anything off the table.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2014 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 21, 2014

ISIS creates a privileged sanctuary from which to attack US

Q: ISIS control now extends beyond Iraq into Syria. This is a breeding ground for terrorists, Al Qaeda and offshoots of Al Qaeda. How do you view it then in terms of what we ought to do?

REP. PETER KING: That is a very real concern. There's no doubt that ISIS looks upon itself as an Iraq/Syria power and it definitely has talked with the United States going back to 2011 when it was just Al Qaeda and Iraq before the Syrian component had even kicked in. We captured a number of their officers in the United States, attempting to carry out an attack on Fort Knox. So clearly, if they can get good sanctuary in their Northeastern Syria, in Iraq, this makes it, in effect, a privileged sanctuary to attack the United States apart from the destabilization they can do throughout the Middle East, especially the countries such as Jordan and to Israel. And that also of course increases the power of Iran as far as being an influence in that region.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 15, 2014

Stop being so defensive about drones

Q: Drones came up this week with the collateral damage from drones. It seems like Congress doesn't really want to have that debate out in the open.

KING: If we go too much in the open then we let the enemy know what's going on and we create problems. And as far as the use of drones, the fact is, every war there is collateral damage. Unfortunately innocent people are killed. But the efforts that the US takes to protect innocent lives is unprecedented. If you want to go back to Dresden and Hamburg and what happened in WWII, where thousands of civilians were killed, the fact is this has kept Americans alive, it's also helped people in the Middle East. So I think we should stop being apologetic about drones, tell Rand Paul to stop doing overnight filibusters on people being killed with drones. We should be standing by our military. We have stop being so defensive.

Source: Meet the Press 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 27, 2013

We cannot allow Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons

Iran poses a grave threat not only to Israel and the Middle East, but also to the US and the entire world. It is the world's leading state sponsor of terror and continues to violate United Nations Security Council Resolutions in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. That is something we cannot allow. Strong economic sanctions on Iran have been enacted with my strong support. We must take decisive action against this dangerous regime and keep all options on the table. I have endorsed:
Source: Congressional website, peteking.house.gov, "Issues" , Sep 9, 2013

More to be done in Afghanistan; don't withdraw yet

In the aftermath of 9/11 attacks, the US launched military operations in Afghanistan to remove the Taliban regime and to stop al Qaeda's use of Afghanistan as a base of operations for terrorist activities.

The core goal of the United States' mission in Afghanistan has been to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan and to prevent its return. Under the leadership of General David Petraeus much progress was made. Our troops have done an excellent job, but more remains to be done. An unstable Afghanistan will allow al-Qaeda to establish a sanctuary similar to the situation before 9/11. That is why I have opposed the President's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan too rapidly. While al Qaeda has largely been driven out, it is important that the U.S. maintain a presence in order to prevent another 9/11 type attack.

Source: Congressional website, peteking.house.gov, "Issues" , Sep 9, 2013

We should keep 20,000 troops in Iraq to deter Iran

Having been to Iraq on several occasions, I knew -even during the dark days of 2006--that the media were not accurately reporting the progress that had been made. I also believed, however, that it was important to revise our military strategy going forward. That is why in 2007 I supported the "surge" policy of General David Petraeus and voted against the misguided attempt to reduce funding to our troops (H.R. 1591).

It is in America's national interest to have Iraq be a sovereign and stable nation because the future of Iraq is closely linked to the future of the Middle East--which is now facing massive civil unrest. That is why I opposed President Obama's decision to withdraw all our troops from Iraq, particularly without a Status of Forces agreement. At least 20,000 troops should have remained to maintain stability and deter Iranian influence. The President's policy runs the real risk of undoing many of the gains our troops fought so hard to achieve.

Source: Congressional website, peteking.house.gov, "Issues" , Sep 9, 2013

Steadfastly support Israeli defense against Syria

As unrest continues to rock the Middle East, it is more important than ever that the United States steadfastly support the Jewish State's right to defend itself. The volatility in Syria presents substantial security risks to Israel and the world, particularly in terms of the power vacuum and the country's weapons stockpiles. On the Egyptian border, there is instability in the Sinai and a stream of weapons smuggling into Gaza. Moreover, President Morsi has made disgusting comments about Jews. I will remain vigilant in monitoring the various regime changes in the Middle East and their impact on Israel.
Source: Congressional website, peteking.house.gov, "Issues" , Sep 9, 2013

Assad is evil, but arming rebels brings another dictator

Q: Is it time for the US to directly arm the Syrian rebels?

KING: I have real concerns. The reason I say that is that so much time has gone by, and unfortunately, to a large extent, al Qaeda elements have a lot of control within the rebel movements. My concern is that, by arming the rebels, we could be strengthening al Qaeda. So, whatever arming we do--and obviously, Assad is evil, and everyone is interested that he go--but if we are going to arm the rebels, we have to make sure that those arms are not going to end up in the possession of al Qaeda supporters nor at the end game is al Qaeda going to be in a position to take over this movement.

Q: That's a pretty high bar, right? I mean, we put weapons into countries a lot and don't know where they're going to end up.

KING: Until we have a better understanding of where the weapons will be going, I'm very concerned that we're just replacing one terrible dictator with a terrible ideological movement, which is aimed at our destruction.

Source: CNN SOTU 2013 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 5, 2013

Voted YES on banning armed forces in Libya without Congressional approval.

RESOLUTION Declaring that the President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of US Armed Forces in Libya, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution.
    The House of Representatives makes the following statements of policy:
  1. The US Armed Forces shall be used exclusively to defend and advance the national security interests of the US.
  2. The President has failed to provide Congress with a compelling rationale based upon US national security interests for current US military activities regarding Libya.
  3. The President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of units and members of the US Armed Forces on the ground in Libya unless the purpose of the presence is to rescue a member of the Armed Forces from imminent danger.
The President shall transmit a report describing in detail US security interests and objectives, and the activities of US Armed Forces, in Libya since March 19, 2011, including a description of the following:
  1. The President's justification for not seeking authorization by Congress for the use of military force in Libya.
  2. US political and military objectives regarding Libya, including the relationship between the intended objectives and the operational means being employed to achieve them.
  3. Changes in US political and military objectives following the assumption of command by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
  4. Differences between US political and military objectives regarding Libya and those of other NATO member states engaged in military activities.
  5. The specific commitments by the US to ongoing NATO activities regarding Libya.
  6. The anticipated scope and duration of continued US military involvement in Libya.
  7. The costs of military, political, and humanitarian efforts concerning Libya as of June 3, 2011.
Congress has the constitutional prerogative to withhold funding for any unauthorized use of the US States Armed Forces, including for unauthorized activities regarding Libya.
Reference: Resolution on Libya; Bill HRes294 ; vote number 11-HV410 on Jun 3, 2011

Voted NO on removing US armed forces from Afghanistan.

Congressional Summary:
    Directs the President, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution, to remove the U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan:
  1. by no later than 30 days after this resolution is adopted; or
  2. if the President determines that it is not safe to remove them by such date, by no later than December 31, 2011.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Kucinich, D-OH]:The American people oppose this war by a margin of two to one. Nearly 2/3 of Americans say the war isn't worth fighting. We are spending $100 billion per year on this war. There are those who are saying the war could last at least another 10 years. Are we willing to spend another $1 trillion on a war that doesn't have any exit plan, for which there is no timeframe to get out, no endgame, where we haven't defined our mission? The question is not whether we can afford to leave. The question is, can we afford to stay? And I submit we cannot afford to stay. The counterintelligence strategy of General Petraeus is an abysmal failure, and it needs to be called as such.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL]: This resolution would undermine the efforts of our military and our international partners in Afghanistan and would gravely harm our Nation's security. 3,000 people died on Sep. 11 because we walked away once from Afghanistan, thinking that it didn't matter who controlled that country. We were wrong then. Let us not make the same mistake twice. Completing our mission in Afghanistan is essential to keeping our homeland safe. This is about our vital national security interests. It is about doing what is necessary to ensure that al Qaeda and other extremists cannot reestablish safe havens such as the ones they had in Afghanistan when the 9/11 attacks were planned against our Nation and our people. The enemy, indeed, is on the run. It is demoralized and divided. Let us not give up now.

Reference: Resolution on Afghanistan; Bill HConRes28 ; vote number 11-HV193 on Mar 17, 2011

Voted YES on investigating Bush impeachment for lying about Iraq.

OnTheIssues.org Explanation: This vote is on referring the impeachment resolution to a Congressional Committee to decide further action (not on impeachment itself).

Congressional Summary: Resolved, That President George W. Bush be impeached for committing the following abuses of power:

Proponents' arguments for voting YEA: Rep. Kucinich: Now is the time for this Congress to examine the actions that led us into this war, just as we must work to bring our troops home. This resolution is a very serious matter and I urge the Committee on Judiciary to investigate and carefully consider this resolution.

Rep. Wasserman-Schultz: Impeachment is a lengthy process which would divide Congress and this nation even more deeply than we are divided right now. Referring this resolution to the House Judiciary Committee is the constitutionally appropriate process that should be pursued.

Rep. Ron Paul: I rise, reluctantly, in favor of referring that resolution to the House Judiciary Committee for full consideration, which essentially directs the committee to examine the issue more closely than it has done to this point.

Reference: The Kucinich Privilege Resolution; Bill H.RES.1258 ; vote number 2008-401 on Jun 11, 2008

Voted NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq starting in 90 days.

To provide for the redeployment of US Armed Forces and defense contractors from Iraq. Requires within 90 days to commence the redeployment; and to complete such redeployment within 180 days after its commencement. Prohibits the use of DOD funds to increase the number of US forces serving in Iraq in excess of the number serving in Iraq as of January 1, 2007, unless specifically authorized by Congress. Authorizes retaining in Iraq US forces for providing security for diplomatic missions; for targeting al-Qaeda; and for training Iraqi Security Forces. Requires the President to transfer to the government of Iraq all interest held by the US in any military facility in Iraq.

Proponents support voting YES because:

This war is a terrible tragedy, and it is time to bring it to an end. This is a straightforward bill to redeploy our military forces from Iraq and to end the war in Iraq. This bill does not walk away from the Iraqi people. It specifically continues diplomatic, social, economic, and reconstruction aid. Finally, this bill leaves all the decisions on the locations outside of Iraq to which our troops will be redeployed wholly in the hands of our military commanders.

Opponents support voting NO because:

This legislation embraces surrender and defeat. This legislation undermines our troops and the authority of the President as commander in chief. Opponents express concern about the effects of an ill-conceived military withdrawal, and about any legislation that places military decisions in the hands of politicians rather than the military commanders in the field. The enemy we face in Iraq view this bill as a sign of weakness. Now is not the time to signal retreat and surrender. It is absolutely essential that America, the last remaining superpower on earth, continue to be a voice for peace and a beacon for freedom in our shrinking world.

Reference: Out of Iraq Caucus bill; Bill H R 2237 ; vote number 2007-330 on May 10, 2007

Voted YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date.

Reference: Resolution on Prevailing in the Global War on Terror; Bill HRES 861 ; vote number 2006-288 on Jun 12, 2006

Voted YES on approving removal of Saddam & valiant service of US troops.

States that the House of Representatives:
  1. affirms that the United States and the world have been made safer with the removal of Saddam Hussein and his regime from power in Iraq;
  2. commends the Iraqi people for their courage in the face of unspeakable oppression and brutality inflicted on them by Saddam Hussein's regime;
  3. commends the Iraqi people on the adoption of Iraq's interim constitution; and
  4. commends the members of the U.S. Armed Forces and Coalition forces for liberating Iraq and expresses its gratitude for their valiant service.
Reference: War in Iraq Anniversary resolution; Bill H Res 557 ; vote number 2004-64 on Mar 17, 2004

Voted YES on authorizing military force in Iraq.

Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq: Passage of the joint resolution that would authorize President Bush to use the US military as he deems necessary and appropriate to defend U.S. national security against Iraq and enforce UN Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq. It would be required that the president report to Congress, no later than 48 hours after using force, his determination that diplomatic options or other peaceful means would not guarantee US national security against Iraq or allow enforcement of UN resolutions and that using force is consistent with anti-terrorism efforts. The resolution would also give specific statutory authorization under the War Powers Resolution. Every 60 days the president would also be required to report to Congress on actions related to the resolution.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Hastert,R-IL; Bill HJRes114 ; vote number 2002-455 on Oct 10, 2002

Condemns anti-Muslim bigotry in name of anti-terrorism.

King co-sponsored the Resolution on bigotry against Sikh Americans:

Title: Condemning bigotry and violence against Sikh Americans in the wake of terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.

Summary: Declares that, in the quest to identify, locate, and bring to justice the perpetrators and sponsors of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the civil rights and liberties of all Americans, including Sikh-Americans, should be protected.

Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR255 on Oct 4, 2001

Strengthen sanctions on Syria & assist democratic transition.

King co-sponsored strengthening sanctions on Syria & assist democratic transition

A bill to strengthen sanctions against the Government of Syria, to enhance multilateral commitment to address the Government of Syria's threatening policies, to establish a program to support a transition to a democratically-elected government in Syria.

Source: Syria Accountability and Liberation Act (S2917/HR2332) 08-S2917 on Apr 24, 2008

Boycott & sanctions against Iran for terrorism & nukes.

King signed Iran Threat Reduction Act

Source: H.R.1905 11-HR1905 on May 13, 2011

Counter Iran's growing presence in Latin America.

King co-sponsored Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act

Congressional Summary:A BILL: To provide for a comprehensive strategy to use all elements of national power to counter Iran's growing presence and hostile activity in the Western Hemisphere.

Rep Jeff Duncan's Sponsor comments:Congress has spent trillions of dollars for military operations in the war on terror, yet we have neglected to protect ourselves from the threat that looms just beyond our own borders. We know that Iran has been building diplomatic, economic, and security relationships with Latin American countries for years. The US possesses vital political, economic, and security interests in the Western Hemisphere. I am concerned that our nation's vulnerability to this growing threat on our Southern border is not being adequately addressed."

Source: H.R.3783 12-H3783 on Jan 18, 2012

Iranian nuclear weapons: prevention instead of containment.

King 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-HJR568 on Mar 1, 2012

Sanctions on Iran to end nuclear program.

King 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

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