Joe Sestak on War & Peace

Democratic Senate Challenger; former Navy Admiral


Leaving Iran deal saps credibility in future negotiations

[Obama's Iran nuclear] deal was good enough to be supported by all of our European allies, along with Russia and China, and Iran itself. Iran was abiding by its terms. If the deal had been given the chance to hold for the full decade, it would have created a reservoir of goodwill between Iran and the world that would be the basis for the next agreement. Our leaving not only destroyed a carefully crafted international agreement, it sapped our credibility in negotiations with other countries.
Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential primary , Jul 30, 2019

North Korean denuclearization will be incremental

We must maintain the goal of complete denuclearization, but that does not mean I think we will be able to quickly reach an agreement. Negotiations will likely lead to some sort of preliminary agreement involving partial sanctions relief in exchange for some dismantling of the North's nuclear weapons program. The eventual success of that initial deal should lay the groundwork for total denuclearization, along with some improvements to North Korea's human rights standards.
Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential primary , Jul 30, 2019

Withdraw from Afghanistan, after achieving stability

I would commit to the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of my first term but with a plan--and milestones to measure progress--to actually achieve the goal of stability and good governance that is so needed. We must continue taking the fight to the Taliban in order to compel a final peace settlement with them and with the Afghan government that brings not just stability, but a chance for real human rights standards--particularly for Afghan women--to take firm root.
Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential primary , Jul 30, 2019

America broke its word with departure from Iran agreement

"America broke its word when he withdrew us from an accord with Iran where they kept theirs," he said, referring to the president [Trump] and his decision to scrap the 2015 nuclear agreement the Obama government brokered with Tehran and other major world powers. Sestak said robust diplomatic engagement is the only way to permanently solve decades of geopolitical enmity. "Militaries might stop a problem, but they don't fix a problem," he said.
Source: CBS News on 2020 Democratic primary , Jun 24, 2019

Immediately rejoin the Iran nuclear deal

One critical action we must undertake immediately is rejoining the Iran nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA). This hard-won agreement, signed by all of the world's major powers, had disarmed the nuclear threat of Iran--until we abandoned it. Breaking America's word on the deal while Iran kept theirs is unforgivable. The recent ratcheting up of tensions with Iran is a potentially grave mistake. If we decide to launch missile strikes on Iran in an attempt to destroy deeply buried nuclear infrastructure, they might instantaneous rain missiles on Israel and our regional bases, and close the Straits of Hormuz, cutting off 20% of the world's oil supply. Even if we manage to destroy their nuclear infrastructure, they can rebuild it all again. We must heed that old lesson of our misguided invasion of Iraq: militaries might stop a problem, but militaries don't solve a problem. And the problem of Iran's nuclear capability can only be solved through diplomacy.
Source: 2020 presidential campaign website JoeSestak.com , Jun 23, 2019

Put pressure on al-Qaida safe havens in neighboring Pakistan

They clashed over Obama's decision last year to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan--Specter said it is unwise to ally with an untrustworthy Afghan President Hamid Karzai while Sestak said is important to put pressure on al-Qaida safe havens in neighboring Pakistan.
Source: Lehigh Valley Live coverage of 2010 PA Senate debate , May 1, 2010

Ensure stability as we draw down our forces in Iraq

Even as we draw down our forces in Iraq, our gains remain fragile and we must ensure stability until we complete withdrawal at the end of 2011. We will begin major new deployments to Afghanistan to ensure that Al Qaeda can never again have a safe haven there. The situation in Pakistan also remains highly unstable and demands our full attention. All of these threats must be addressed with the utmost transparency for the taxpayer and fairness to the brave servicemen and women who defend us overseas
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.joesestak.com, "Issues" , Dec 25, 2009

We’ve achieved our goals; withdraw from Iraq by end of 2007

Withdraw from Iraq by end of next year: We must use our prompt military disengagement from Iraq to force the three major parties to understand that America has achieved its ends: (1) no weapons of mass destruction threaten us; (2) we have provided a framework for democracy; (3) we have provided resources to begin to revive their economy; and (4) a torturous dictatorship has been removed.
Source: 2006 House campaign website, sestakforcongress.com, “Issues” , Nov 7, 2006

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 YES 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

Strengthen sanctions on Syria & assist democratic transition.

Sestak 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

Opposes timetable for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Sestak opposes the F2A survey question on troop withdrawal

Faith2Action.org is "the nation's largest network of pro-family groups." They provide election resources for each state, including Voter Guides and Congressional Scorecards excerpted here. The Faith2Action survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Set a timetable for withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan '

Source: Faith2Action Survey 10-FF-q17 on Sep 19, 2010

Other candidates on War & Peace: Joe Sestak on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-NY,R-MA)
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2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)

Page last updated: Dec 16, 2019