Thomas Kean Jr. on War & Peace


We've made mistakes in Iraq, but must complete our objective

Q: What should be our mission in Afghanistan & Iraq?

KEAN: The tragic attacks on Sept. 11 refocused our foreign policy objectives. The current wars in Afghanistan & Iraq are extensions of that new focus. We all want to bring our soldiers home as expeditiously as possible, but we must complete our military and diplomatic objectives. I agree with Sen. McCain's assessment, that while "we have made serious mistakes" in Iraq, a mandated timetable could possibly incite "full-scale civil war."

MENENDEZ: To say we've merely "made mistakes" in Iraq is to ignore the gravity of the current situation. The biggest mistake Pres. Bush made was sending our sons & daughters off to war in the first place. Amazingly, Tom Kean Jr. still says he would have voted for the war--even with all that we know today. America's worldwide troop deployment must reflect our priorities in the fight against terrorism. The Bush administration never finished the job in Afghanistan--the launch pad for the 9/11 attacks.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate Sep 2, 2006

Can't cut-and-run in Iraq; that's a declaration of defeat

Q: What should be the extent of our commitments in Iraq?

MENENDEZ: I'm proud to have voted against Bush's war in Iraq right from the start--even when it was unpopular to do so. The Bush administration failed to make the case that Iraq was an imminent threat to our national security. Moreover, there was no conclusive evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. This was a war of choice, not a war of necessity. The Bush administration misled the American people with faulty premises and false promises. Tom Kean Jr. is wrong on Iraq. It's time to end the open-ended commitment of US forces in Iraq.

KEAN: Bob Menendez is weak on national defense. He is a "dove," who sides with the extreme-left wing of his party, unless it's politically opportune to do otherwise. Hindsight is always 20/20 and the real debate is about how we move forward in Iraq. I want our troops to come home safely and as soon as possible, but "cut and run" is not a solution, it's a declaration of defeat.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate [X-ref Menendez] Sep 2, 2006

Supports war in Iraq but distances himself from Bush

Menendez has already begun stressing his vote against the increasingly unpopular war in Iraq. Kean has said he would have supported it. Both will have to wrestle with the difficult questions about what the country should do now.

Democrats used Bush as a cudgel during the race for governor, so they will certainly make use of his anemic approval ratings. Kean has taken some moderate stances that distance him from the president politically, but Democrats won't let anyone forget that they share a party.

Source: Josh Gohlke in the Bergen Record and Herald News Dec 19, 2005

Other candidates on War & Peace: Thomas Kean Jr. on other issues:
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