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Posted by Randy | March 10, 2014
Late last month, Russia sent troops across the border, taking military control of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. 

In coordination with our European allies, President Obama took actions to hold individuals and entities responsible for violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. 

President Obama issued an executive order authorizing sanctions, instructed the State Department to impose restrictions denying visas to those responsible for or complicit in threatening Ukraine’s sovereignty, as well as those involved in human rights abuses related to political oppression in Ukraine, and called on Congress to provide monetary resources to stabilize the Ukrainian economy.

Question of the week:  
Do you support such assistance to Ukraine from the United States in the face of Russian aggression?

( ) Yes. 
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know. 
( ) Other. 


Take the Poll here.
 
Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | November 21, 2013
Earlier this month, the Administration announced that it would support "limited, targeted, and reversible" easing of international sanctions against Iran if they agreed to halt their nuclear program.

In July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill strengthening and expanding existing U.S. sanctions.  Despite the strong bipartisan support for this legislation, the President urged Senate leaders this week to oppose enacting additional sanctions while the talks in Geneva are ongoing.

The P5+1 negotiations with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – the United States, China, Russia, Britain, and France – plus Germany, began in October, and the next round of talks is scheduled to begin this week.  The goal of the negotiations is to reach an agreement regarding how to address Iran’s nuclear program. 

Question of the week:   Do you believe that the United States should unilaterally reduce the tough sanctions it has placed on Iran in the hope that doing so will make a deal to disarm their nuclear program more likely?

( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know. 
( ) Other (leave your comments below).
 
 
Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here
Posted by Randy | September 12, 2013
Earlier this week, in response to a question raised at a press conference in London, Secretary of State John Kerry said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week…but he isn't about to do it and it can't be done."

Following this statement from Secretary Kerry, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said, “If the establishment of international control over chemical weapons in that country would allow avoiding strikes, we will immediately start working with Damascus.  We are calling on the Syrian leadership to not only agree on placing chemical weapons storage sites under international control, but also on its subsequent destruction and fully joining the treaty on prohibition of chemical weapons.”

Question of the week: Do you believe the United States should accept the proposal from Russia as a viable diplomatic solution in response to the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons?  

( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other (leave your comments below).
 
 
Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | September 04, 2013

This morning, I sat down with WAVY News to discuss the situation in Syria and my concerns about a military intervention. I have no intention of voting to authorize American intervention in Syria.  While the President’s decision to seek congressional authorization for military involvement in Syria shows a regard for the Constitution that has been noticeably absent for much of his presidency, I remain strongly opposed to an action that I believe will in no way contribute to America's national security interests.

Watch the interview here.    

  

In case you missed my full statement, view it here.

  
Posted by Randy | August 28, 2013
The Obama administration has now said that there is very little doubt that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons against its own people. 

On August 26th, Secretary of State John Kerry responded saying, “The Administration is actively consulting with members of Congress and we will continue to have these conversations in the days ahead. President Obama has also been in close touch with the leaders of our key allies, and the President will be making an informed decision about how to respond to this indiscriminate use of chemical weapons.”    

Under the War Powers Resolution, the president, as commander-in-chief, may only send the armed forces into “hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances,” if there has been (1) a declaration of war by Congress; (2) authorization from Congress for the president to use military force; or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

On August 27th, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said, “We are prepared, and we have moved assets in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take. We are ready to go.”  

Question of the week:  Should the United States use military force to intervene in Syria’s civil war?

( ) Yes. 
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other (leave your comments below).
 
 
Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | August 23, 2013
Reports of rising international turmoil and human rights abuses continue to surface in the news this week.  Religious persecution is increasing in Egypt – churches and monasteries are being vandalized and burned, and Christians are being killed.  The ongoing conflict in Syria has created a serious humanitarian crisis, with reports this week indicating the likelihood that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons to kill scores of civilians. Some observers have expressed concern that violence from both conflicts could affect neighboring states like Israel and Jordan.

Question of the week: What should the international community do in response to human rights violations in Egypt and Syria?

( ) Work with neighboring countries to provide refuge for those being persecuted
( ) Increase humanitarian aid
( ) Provide military support
( ) End all foreign aid to Egypt and Syria until the attacks cease
( ) Call for an investigation by the United Nations
( ) I don’t know
( ) Other
 

Take the Poll here.
 
Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | July 09, 2013
On July 3rd, the world watched as Mohammed Morsi was ousted as President of Egypt.  The next day, Adly Mansour was sworn in as the Interim President. 

Following news of the civil unrest in Cairo, discussions here in the United States quickly turned to the role of American foreign aid.  The President and the State Department must now determine the appropriate response and involvement of the United States government, including continuation or suspension of foreign aid.

Question of the week:  In general, what role do you believe U.S. foreign aid should serve? (multiple answer)

( ) Providing humanitarian aid abroad
( ) Protecting U.S. national security interests
( ) Furthering economic development in needy countries
( ) Protecting the interest of our allies, such as Israel
( ) Supporting the development of new open markets for investment
( ) Promoting democratic governance
( ) None, I believe the U.S. should not be providing foreign aid
( ) I don’t know
( ) Other (leave your comments below)


Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | March 28, 2013
With a record $16 trillion in debt and a federal government consistently spending a trillion dollars a year more than it has taken in, Congress must address the fundamental issue at hand: a serious overspending problem in Washington. One area of federal spending that has been the focus of recent debate is foreign aid. 

For decades, the United States has used foreign assistance to provide humanitarian aid, promote economic development, and foster good governance, often in places where American security interests are at stake.

Despite the cost, some believe that the federal government should continue to provide this funding as an investment to advance the nation’s security, prosperity, and global leadership.  Others argue that the United States should end foreign aid and, instead, spend that money on programs for American citizens. 

There are four key questions that I believe we must ask in order to assess foreign aid accurately and to determine if it is an appropriate investment of American tax dollars. Does foreign aid to a given region offer the American people return on investment in terms of their own security? Does such aid promote the free flow of goods and materials critical to the success of American trade? Does it protect supply routes and safety for American troops stationed abroad? Does it seriously mitigate the potential impact of disease pandemics?

Question of the week: Do you believe that the United States should continue to utilize foreign assistance as a tool to support our foreign policy?

( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other.


Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | December 05, 2012
California Senator Dianne Feinstein released a report last week by the U.S. Government Accountability Office: Facilities and Factors for Consideration If Detainees Were Brought to the United States.  Senator Feinstein touted the report as proof that the U.S. could handle the detainees if the U.S. were to close military detention facilities at its Naval Station in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

“Since 2002, the United States has operated detention facilities in Guantánamo Bay to hold individuals detained during overseas counterterrorism operations. In 2009 the President directed the closure of these facilities within 1 year,” says the report. “Since then, a number of statutes have prohibited the transfer of Guantánamo Bay detainees to the United States. GAO was asked to review existing U.S. facilities and identify factors to be considered in the event that restrictions were lifted and Guantánamo Bay detainees were transferred to the United States.”

The GAO report lists six correctional facilities operated by the Department of Defense, including Naval Consolidated Brig Chesapeake, which are equipped to confine prisoners for more than one year.

Since 2009, Congressman Forbes has introduced and sponsored numerous pieces of legislation to prevent the transfer of detainees to Virginia and the rest of the United States. Congressman Forbes introduced legislation, H.R. 1638, to prohibit the use of federal funds to transfer detainees to locations in Virginia. Mr. Forbes was also a cosponsor of H.R. 2294, the Keep Terrorists Out of America Act and H.R. 1186, which prohibited the use of funds to transfer individuals detained Guantanamo Bay to facilities in Virginia. All these provisions were incorporated into the last three National Defense Authorization Acts and passed as law.

Question of the week: Do you support the continuation of current law, which prohibits detainees from Guantanamo Bay from being transferred to prisons in the United States?

( ) Yes
( ) No
( ) I don't know
( ) Other (Leave your comments below)


Take the poll here.

Find out the results of last week’s instapoll here.

Find out the results of my instapoll about the “Fiscal Cliff” here.
Posted by Randy | November 30, 2012
Last the weekend, China’s Defense Ministry released video and pictures of a Chinese J-15 fighter jet taking off and landing from its aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.


The news marks a significant milestone for China 14 years after it acquired the unfinished carrier from the Ukraine, 18 months after its first sea trials and two months after its commissioning into the People’s Liberation Army Navy. Though significant work lies ahead to make the Liaoning combat operational,  the commencement of carrier-based, fixed-wing flight operations puts China in elite company, with only five other nations with these current capabilities – The U.S., Russia, France, India and Brazil.  

This comes during a time of increasing concern among China’s neighbors in the Pacific, many of which remain embroiled in territorial disputes with China over the long-term regional intentions of the People’s Liberation Army and the Chinese Communist Party.  This week, Congressman Forbes moderated an important discussion at the Foreign Policy Initiative entitled, “All Eyes on Asia: Perspectives From Our Allies” between representatives of several nations in the region on their security concerns and the re-rise of China.

Additionally, click here to read about Congressman Forbes’ work as Chairman and founder of the Congressional China Caucus, whose primary mission is to investigate and educate its members on the emergence of China’s global reach and the consequences of its growing international, economic, and political influence on U.S. interests.

Question of the week: Given China’s growing military capabilities, do you consider China….

( ) a partner of the United States
( ) friendly, but not a partner of the United States
( ) a competitor to the United States
( ) an adversary to the United States
( ) I don't know
( ) Other (Leave your comments below)

Take the poll here.

Find out the results of last week’s instapoll here.

Find out the results of my instapoll about the “Fiscal Cliff” here.