As a senior member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and a military combat veteran, I am committed to providing our Armed Forces and Intelligence Community with the resources they need to provide a strong national defense. To effectively advance our nation’s security goals, we must be able to objectively assess our security challenges and adapt accordingly. I will continue working to make sure all branches of the Armed Forces have the tools and resources they need to keep our nation safe, and that Congress continues to play its role in overseeing Executive Branch agencies.
The Afghanistan war is now the longest running war in United States history. Since 2001, we have lost more than 2,300 men and women in Afghanistan, nearly 20,000 have been wounded, and our national treasury has been reduced by close to $557 billion.
In the wake of the September 11th attacks, the United States went into Afghanistan to eliminate a glaring threat to our national security: the safe haven and protection provided to Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda by the ruling Taliban. However, instead of finishing the job in Afghanistan, the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. Unfortunately, this diversion allowed the Taliban to refortify in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and al Qaeda and affiliated groups relocated to the border region of Pakistan and to other countries around the world. Since the height of the “surge” in 2011, the U.S. has begun to redeploy our forces in Afghanistan, and is on track to end our combat role there by the end of 2014.
I support bringing our troops home from Afghanistan as quickly and safely as possible and changing our policy to a counterterrorism strategy that focuses on the threat posed by al Qaeda and its affiliates around the world, including here in the United States. Last Congress, I cosponsored a bill which would require the president to submit a plan to Congress for the safe, orderly, and expeditious redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan.
I have voted in favor of requiring President Obama to submit a plan to Congress outlining the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and have voted to invoke the War Powers Act requiring the President to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan within 30 days. Though these efforts have not yet passed the House of Representatives, I will continue to monitor the redeployment from Afghanistan, to ensure that it is significant and sizeable; and will strongly consider other legislation that may come for a vote requiring our withdrawal from Afghanistan.
I strongly believe that the current regime in Iran is a profound threat to U.S. national security interests – not only because of their nuclear ambitions, but because of the military assistance they provide armed groups in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Hamas and Hezbollah. Iran continues to ignore the international community on the issue of nuclear proliferation and has pledged to build new nuclear facilities, which may indicate the desire to enrich uranium for potential weapons development.
In an effort to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions and strengthen security in the region, I have supported several efforts to enforce international sanctions against the Iranian government. Specifically, in the 112th Congress, I cosponsored and voted in favor of H.R. 1905, The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act, which strengthened sanctions against Iran to prevent them from further developing any nuclear weapons programs. In the 113th Congress, I also coauthored H.R. 850, the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, which will place the most restrictive sanctions on Iran to date, targeting individuals and companies that do business with Iranian financial institutions.
I voted against authorizing the war in Iraq in 2002 and have been a vocal opponent of the war since before it began. Our country sacrificed enormously in this conflict, spending over $729 billion and suffering the loss of 4,409 brave American servicemembers. After the failed policies of the last administration, I am proud to see President Obama implementing policies that have removed all U.S. forces from Iraq. Our troops did what we sent them to do – now it is time for the Iraqis to take full control of their country’s defenses.
As a senior member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), I have been continuously briefed on the situation on the ground in Syria since major unrest began in March 2011 between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and opposition groups. I continue to closely monitor day-to-day developments.
Over the course of this now two year civil war, the situation in Syria deteriorated, culminating in the use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians.
The use of chemical weapons is deplorable no matter who uses them or why. And if these weapons are ever used, there should be a robust, global response to deter these types of atrocities from ever happening again. However, any such response, either militarily or otherwise, must be undertaken by the world community working in concert.
I sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to immediately reconvene Congress so that we can have a full and vigorous debate on these developments. It is essential that Congress be consulted before the United States commits itself to any response to these attacks. Congress must have the opportunity to thoroughly review the evidence assembled by the U. S. intelligence community, fully debate what, if any, U.S. action is appropriate, and ensure that an international coalition leads the resulting effort, if that is the course of action our nation decides to take.
More on National Defense
Legislation authored by U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) to improve the security at American embassies passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of H.R. 4681, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015.
Studies since the Benghazi attack in 2012 have identified the need for security personnel at U.S. diplomatic posts to receive threat information from the Intelligence Community in a timely manner so that they can request and receive security enhancements as needed.
By Staff - Legislation by U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) to improve security at American embassies passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of H.R. 4681, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015, it was announced Tuesday.
WASHINGTON D.C. – Legislation authored by U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) to improve the security at American embassies passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of H.R. 4681, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015. Studies since the Benghazi attack in 2012 have identified the need for security personnel at U.S. diplomatic posts to receive threat information from the Intelligence Community in a timely manner so that they can request and receive security enhancements as needed.
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) on Monday announced seven appointments from California’s Fifth Congressional District to the service academies. Congress has partnered with four of our five service academies (Air Force, Army, Navy and Merchant Marine) for more than 150 years to nominate candidates for admission.
The fifth service academy, the Coast Guard Academy, does not require a nomination.
Two Vallejo students were among seven appointed by Rep. Mike Thompson to the nation's service academies, Thompson's office announced. Both were appointed to the Naval Academy.
Congress has partnered with the Air Force, Army, Navy and Merchant Marine academies for more than 150 years to nominate candidates for admission. The fifth service institution, the Coast Guard Academy, does not require a nomination.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), a senior member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, today voted to pass an amended version of bipartisan H.R. 3361, the USA Freedom Act. Like the bipartisan Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reform legislation co-authored by Thompson, the amended version of the USA Freedom Act ends the bulk collection of call detail records (telephone metadata). H.R. 3361 passed by a bipartisan vote of 303-121.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), a senior member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted to pass an amended version of H.R. 3361, the USA Freedom Act, out of the Intel Committee. This amended version of the USA Freedom Act unanimously passed the House Judiciary Committee yesterday before unanimously passing the Intelligence Committee today.
U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) announced today that the United States Naval Academy is accepting applications for their Summer Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Program. Applications for the United States Naval Academy’s Summer Seminar program will open on January 16th, 2014.