Protecting Our National Security Interests & Defense
As a soldier and a veteran, Tulsi has seen the true cost of war firsthand. She is acutely aware of the tremendous toll that over 15 years of ongoing conflict have had on our service members, veterans, military families and our country’s resources. One of the main reasons Tulsi sought election to Congress was to stop our country's leaders from sending our young men and women into harm's way unless absolutely necessary. As a member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, co-chair of the bipartisan Post 9/11 Veterans Caucus and one of the first combat veterans in Congress, Tulsi is committed to ending the cycle of counterproductive, regime-change wars that have cost our nation so much.
Ending Counterproductive, Regime-Change Wars
In Iraq, Libya and now in Syria, the U.S. has continued to get bogged down in fighting regime change wars that have caused untold suffering and instability in the Middle East. At the same time, our leaders have neglected our primary mission of defeating those who attacked us on 9/11 and who continue to threaten and wage war against us today.
Today in Syria, the U.S. is waging two contradictory wars: The first is the war to defeat ISIS—a war we must take seriously and must win. The second is the counterproductive war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad—an illegal war that Congress has not authorized and which we must end.
In 2011, the United States began a covert military campaign to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad in an alliance with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and some of the Gulf States. As a result of that regime change war, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed and millions have fled their homes as refugees. Furthermore, we have seen ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations strengthened, presenting an even greater threat to the Middle East and the world.
Tulsi has introduced the legislation to end this illegal, counterproductive war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad, so we can end this war that’s causing so much suffering, and focus all of our military efforts and resources on defeating our enemy—ISIS and other jihadist groups.
Addressing the North Korea Nuclear Threat
North Korea continues to pose a serious and dangerous threat to the United States and to communities and families in Hawaiʻi, who are within range of North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missiles. To deal with this threat, Tulsi is working to strengthen the capabilities of our Pacific forces, stop the downward trend in our investment in ballistic missile defense development and strengthen our missile defense capabilities in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. Tulsi passed several amendments in the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act to improve our ability to detect missile threats to Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. In addition, she cosponsored and worked to pass strong sanctions against North Korea to respond to their ongoing provocations.
More on Protecting Our National Security Interests & Defense
Washington, DC—Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement today in response to reports that President Trump is expected to order a temporary ban on refugees:
The lives of millions of Syrians have been destroyed by a horrific war that has killed hundreds of thousands and forced millions to flee their homeland. I went there last week to see and hear directly from the Syrian people.
Washington, DC—Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) returned to Washington, DC after a week-long visit to Damascus, Aleppo, and Beirut to see and hear firsthand the impact of the war in Syria directly from the Syrian people. She heard stories of suffering, pain, courage and hope from people all across the country. She met with refugees, Syrian opposition leaders who led protests in 2011, widows and family members of Syrians fighting alongside groups like al-Qaeda, as well as those fighting on the side of the government.
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement today after voting against attempts to erode congressional oversight of civilian control of the military. S.84, which would change the legal requirement for retired military officers to serve as Secretary of Defense, was pushed through the House without allowing the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) to hold a hearing with Secretary of Defense nominee Gen. Mattis before holding a vote on the floor.
Washington, DC—In a speech on the House floor today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard urged lawmakers to support the bipartisan Stop Arming Terrorists Act (H.R.608), legislation that would prohibit the U.S.