2014 FPI Forum: National Security Leadership in a New Congress

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National Security Leadership in a New Congress

Senator-Elect Tom Cotton (R-AR), Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee

Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Dr. William Kristol, Board Member, Foreign Policy Initiative (Moderator)

Video  |  Key Quotes Transcript


Key Quotes

“Iran is getting everything they want by stringing along these negotiations. We’ve conceded the right to enrich uranium. We’ve conceded to them the opportunity to continue advanced research on advanced centrifuges. We’ve conceded the right to keep Arak as a heavy water plutonium plant. We’ve conceded that we’re not going to explore all the military dimensions. We’ve conceded they won’t have to go through complete disclosure and inspection. We’ve conceded that we’re not even going to put ballistic missiles on the table.”

– Senator-Elect Tom Cotton (R-AR)

“I heard folks say, well, we didn’t get an agreement [with Iran on November 24]. No, we actually got an agreement. We got an agreement to keep the [Joint Plan of Action]. We got an agreement to keep the current agreement. … It was to continue to allow Iran’s economy to thrive, to continue to allow them to spin centrifuges, and to do almost nothing to prevent them from having a nuclear enrichment capacity."

– Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS)

“[National Security Adviser] Susan Rice said additional sanctions during the negotiations would be dangerous. I remember vividly when I was in the private sector. I wanted all the leverage on my side in any negotiation I could possibly get. I wanted them to think that I was the sanest person in the room, and that I was their only hope of getting the resolution that they wanted. … They’re demanding that we take away their tools. They’re demanding that we take away their leverage. It is the most bizarre thing one has seen."

– Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS)

“The president for the longest time earlier this year had a political strategy [against ISIS], which I think was designed to get him through the elections, not a military strategy. … He still continues to state these very lofty goals … without providing anywhere near the resources or the discretion to his commanders to execute them. You really are returning to the days of LBJ in the White House picking out bombing targets in Vietnam.”

 Senator-Elect Tom Cotton (R-AR)

“So when the president talks about tactics and things we ought to do and he says, ‘we’re going to destroy ISIS,’ without doing so much as making Assad even stay inside his home for one minute, the rest of the world sees that, our Gulf allies see that, and they realize we’re not serious, and they begin to take actions that are deeply at odds with America’s national interests. And so you have failures on the ground, tactical failures in Iraq and Syria, but you have enormous strategic failures taking place throughout the Middle East as well. It’s very, very dangerous.”

– Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS)

Mission Statement

The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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