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Mike voted against the Congressional Resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq in 2002 and remained an outspoken critic of that war. A link between Saddam Hussein and the September 11th terrorist attacks was never established and weapons of mass destruction were never found.
Mike continues to believe we should have committed sufficient troops to complete the mission in Afghanistan instead of shifting focus to Iraq. He voted to authorize the use of force in Afghanistan in 2001, after its Taliban rulers refused to act against those who attacked the United States – al-Qaeda. He has traveled to Afghanistan, not only to talk with American generals and other high officials, but also to listen to officers and soldiers in the field and Afghan leaders at national and local levels. Mike is committed to bringing our troops home and supporting our military personnel when they return. He has repeatedly weighed in with the Administration to press for a speedier timeline on redeployment and clarification of our mission there.
Mike remains gravely concerned about operations in Afghanistan and the future of neighboring Pakistan. He is concerned too about circumstances in Iraq in the aftermath of our withdrawal, and the dangers posed by the civil war in Syria. Instability in the region has led to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS).
The war on terror is ongoing and there are no easy answers. Attacks on civilian populations and civilian targets such as schools, malls and houses of worship continue unabated. The brutality of ISIS is horrifying and violence has spread from the Middle East to North and sub-Sarahan Africa.
Boko Haram and other terrorist groups pose grave threats to many African states. Mike joined other Members of Congress in suing the President for attacking Libya without seeking authorization from Congress. Qaddafi was, indeed, a despot, as is President Assad of Syria. But foreign policy cannot consist in merely removing tyrants with no thought for the aftermath.
Mike is convinced, moreover, that despite the real threat terrorism poses, the United States must take care not to enter into military action nor commit ground troops to war against ISIS or any terrorist groups without a clear mission and support from others in the region to build a coalition to combat ISIS. The United States cannot and should not go it alone.