Congressional Leadership and National Security

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A Conversation with Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) - Senate Minority Whip

Moderated by William Kristol - The Weekly Standard & Foreign Policy Initiative

Audio | Photographs  | Quotes  Transcript  |  Video



  • On Future U.S. Defense Spending:  “Part of the price of leadership is having an adequate defense to satisfy the various commitments you’ve made around the world....  People forget national defense until there’s a crisis.” —Senator Jon Kyl
  • On the U.S. “Rebalance” to the Asia-Pacific:  “I think the Obama administration is wise to begin paying a lot more attention to Asia, as they have.  We’ve always been a pacific nation, and clearly with the rise of China we need to be in a position to meet new challenges....  Though we have no fight to pick with China, one can envision numerous scenarios developing which would create enormous tension between the two countries.” —Senator Jon Kyl
  • On U.S. Economic Sanctions Seeking to Halt Iran’s Drive to Nuclear Weapons-Making Capability:  “Clearly, sanctions would have been the better way to go had they been applied with enough force and strength at the time they were first promoted…  But the point of sanctions is to convince the people of Iran that this isn’t aimed at them, at hurting them and their standard of living—it’s aimed at helping them gain control over their government…  If Israel and others are protected from the potential of an attack from Iran, it gives us more time and flexibility to deal with the problem if sanctions don’t work.” —Senator Jon Kyl
  • On President Reagan’s Approach to U.S. Leadership:  “Go back and think about the policy that Ronald Reagan established in all three areas of importance to our country:  the society values that make a country what it is; the economy; and the question of the role in the world that has to be supported by a strong military.  Those are the three legs of the stool that was the Reagan philosophy.  Well, that was my era and I still believe in it.” —Senator Jon Kyl
  • On U.S. Global Leadership:  “Winston Churchill understood the importance of a leader leading, educating, maybe cajoling a little bit.  But the current president doesn’t want to talk about it because he doesn’t believe in it—he wants to retreat from places in the world that we have been involved in.” —Senator Jon Kyl



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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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