Gary Johnson on War & Peace

Libertarian presidential nominee; former Republican NM Governor

Afghan nation-building will fail; withdraw immediately

In Afghanistan, we accomplished the initial and justified mission of uprooting al Qaeda and those who attacked us on 9/11 in a matter of months, and should have brought our troops home years ago, rather than engaging in the doomed-to-fail and unjustified nation-building that continues today. Our troops in Afghanistan should be withdrawn immediately.
Source: Seven Principles, by Gary Johnson, p.145-146 , Aug 1, 2012

Cut all support and aid to Israel

Q: Should the U.S. continue to support Israel?

A: No, cut all support and aid.

Q: Should the U.S. intervene in the affairs of other countries?

A: Yes, but only in matters of national security.

Q: How should the U.S. deal with Iran?

A: Iran does not threaten our national security and there is no proof they are building a nuclear weapon.

Q: Should the U.S. maintain a presence at the United Nations?

A: Yes, but scale back our current involvement.

Source: Presidential comparison website www.iSideWith.com , May 16, 2012

No military threat from Iraq, Afghanistan, nor Libya

Q: You write that "maintaining a strong national defense is the most basic of the federal government's responsibilities. However, building schools, roads, and hospitals in other countries are not among those basic obligations. Yet that is exactly what we have been doing for much of the past 10 years." Do you oppose current US military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya and, if so, on what moral grounds?

A: I do. In all three cases, I don't see a military threat. I initially thought the intervention in Afghanistan was warranted--we were attacked and we attacked back--but we've wiped out Al Qaeda and here we are; we're still there.

Q: Isn't there evidence that we merely drove Al Qaeda from Afghanistan into Pakistan?

A: Sure.

Source: Interview by Scott Holleran on scottholleran.com blog , Aug 21, 2011

Iran is not currently a military threat

Q: What about Iran?

A: I would point to past realities that have unintended consequences. For example, by taking out [the secular regime in] Iraq, we removed a threat to [the religious totalitarian regime] Iran. I don't think Iran's a military threat, though it might prove to be, but we [have the military capacity to] deal with that threat.

Q: Iran in several instances has stated its intention to destroy the US, which Iran calls "the Great Satan." If you had information that Iran was preparing an attack--either through sponsorship of terrorism or by nuclear strike against one of our military bases or cities--how would you respond?

A: I'd meet with the military experts and ask a lot of questions. We have airborne lasers that can knock out incoming missiles in the launch phase.

Source: Interview by Scott Holleran on scottholleran.com blog , Aug 21, 2011

Let Israel deal with Iranian nukes; not US role to tell them

Q: Do you agree with Ron Paul that Iran is not a threat?

A: I think Israel is an important military ally and I support that alliance. I think Iran gets dealt with by Israel, which is likely to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. I think it's wrong for our government to presume to tell Israel what to do.

Source: Interview by Scott Holleran on scottholleran.com blog , Aug 21, 2011

Absolutely would not have gone into Libya; get out now

Q: Would any of you have gone into Libya?

Johnson: Absolutely not.

McCotter: The Administration shouldn't have commenced its ill-defined Libya mission; however once committed, we can't abruptly withdraw & further harm our diminishing credibility in the world. Now, in solely a support role to prevent further involvement--no US boots on ground.

Johnson: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya--Get out now!

Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on Twitter.com , Jul 21, 2011

We wiped out al Qaeda 10 years ago; leave Afghanistan

Q: Why are you running for president?

A: I would get out of both Iraq and Afghanistan tomorrow. Six months after we engaged in Afghanistan we'd wiped out al-Qaeda effectively--that was 10 years ago. Now we're building roads, schools, bridges, highways and hospitals--we have those needs here in this country.

Source: Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone Magazine , Jun 15, 2011

No threat from Libya; so no authority to topple dictator

Q: What about Libya?

A: I went on record immediately saying, "Let's not do this." There was no congressional authorization, no military threat. Where in the constitution does it say that because we don't like a foreign country's leader we should go in and topple the dictator?

Source: Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone Magazine , Jun 15, 2011

Afghan War initially warranted, but not for 10 years

Q: You don't think we belong in Afghanistan?

A: Well, initially, Afghanistan was totally warranted. We were attacked. We attacked back. That's what our military is for. We should remain vigilant to the terrorist threat. But after being in Afghanistan for six months I think we effectively wiped out al Qaeda. And here it is, we are there 10 years later. We're building roads, schools, bridges, highways and hospitals and borrowing 43 cents out of every dollar to do that.

Source: Sean Hannity 2012 presidential interviews "Hannity Primary" , May 27, 2011

Military surveillance should discover WMD before invasion

Q: You don't think we belong in Iraq, despite all the incidents?

A: What we don't argue about is the need for a strong national defense. We don't argue that at all. What we might argue about is the actual threat to our national security. When it came to Iraq, I would have argued at that time this isn't a threat to our national security. But if they do have weapons of mass destruction, we have the military surveillance capability to see that happen and we could go in and strike at that point.

Q: We knew he used weapons of mass destruction. We had images of dead children, Kurds in the north because chemical weapons were used. The way he was acting made everybody, including most Democrats, conclude that he had them.

A: Well, and under the umbrella of a no-fly zone, did this occur?

Source: Sean Hannity 2012 presidential interviews "Hannity Primary" , May 27, 2011

I opposed the Iraq War from the beginning

I was opposed to us going into Iraq from the beginning, I really thought that there was no threat to our national security, I really thought that if we went into Iraq we would find ourselves in a civil war to which there would be no end and I thought we had the military surveillance capability to see Iraq rollout any weapons of mass destruction and if they would have done that, we could have gone in and dealt with that. Afghanistan originally, I was completely supportive of that.
Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina , May 5, 2011

No Afghan timetable; start tomorrow & finish in a few months

Q: You have said you are an advocate of getting out of Afghanistan tomorrow. You've also said that you'd support a democratic plan to establish a timetable with an end date for withdrawal of US troops in Afghanistan. Are you worried at all about providing a specific end date and that possibly would enable the Taliban to move in the day after the US troops left?

JOHNSON: Well, first of all, I'm not in favor of a timetable. I believe that that timetable should be tomorrow and I realize that tomorrow may involve several months. I was opposed to us going into Iraq from the beginning. Afghanistan originally, I was completely supportive of that, we were attacked, we attacked back, that's what our military is for and after six months, I think we pretty effectively taken care of Al Qaeda.

But that was 10 years ago, we're building roads, schools, bridges and highways in Iraq and Afghanistan and we're borrowing 43 cents out of every dollar to do that. In my opinion, this is crazy.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina , May 5, 2011

Eliminate ineffective interventions in Iraq & Afghanistan

This recession has forced families and businesses across America to make hard choices and limit their expenditures. We must now expect our elected officials to make the tough calls that will keep our government on a sustainable path moving forward. We must restrain spending across the board:
Source: Presidential campaign website, garyjohnson2012.com, "Issues" , May 2, 2011

Other candidates on War & Peace: Gary Johnson on other issues:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
GOP Candidates:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Rocky Anderson(J)
Roseanne Barr(PF)
Rep.Virgil Goode(C)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L)
Jill Stein(G)

GOP Withdrawals:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(MN)
Herman Cain(GA)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(GA)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Rep.Ron Paul(TX)
Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
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Page last updated: Oct 17, 2012