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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA

National Defense

As a former 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.

Over the course of this now seven 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

Apr 17, 2018 Press Release

Washington – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), announced he would cosponsor a resolution to define limited terms for the use of military force in the Middle East.

Apr 13, 2018 Press Release

Washington – Military veteran Members of Congress, including Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), Rep. Bobby Rush (IL-01), Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33), Rep Seth Moulton (MA-06), Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24), and Rep Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) released the following joint statement in reaction to the president’s public and social media discussion of military strategy in response to the apparent chemical attack in Syria over the weekend.

Feb 2, 2018 Press Release

Rep. Thompson, former member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement on the release of the Nunes memo:

Jun 8, 2017 Press Release

Washington – Today, Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the ongoing investigation into the Administration’s alleged tied to Russia and the reasons why the President abruptly fired him last month. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05)—former Member of the House Intelligence Committee—released the following statement:

May 25, 2017 Press Release

Washington – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) introduced a House Resolution disapproving of the President’s irresponsible and negligent handling of classified information. This resolution comes in the wake of reports that the President shared critical intelligence information with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Apr 17, 2017 Press Release

Washington – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) returned from a Congressional trip to South Korea and Japan, where he met with leaders to discuss our security in the region. During his trip, Thompson inspected the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between South Korea and North Korea, discussed defenses with General Vincent K. Brooks, met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, and attended numerous briefings related to national defense.

Apr 17, 2017 Photo Gallery

In April of 2017, Rep. Mike Thompson traveled to South Korea and Japan to meet with leaders to discuss the security of the region. During his trip, Thompson inspected the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between South Korea and North Korea, discussed defenses with General Vincent K. Brooks, met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, and attended numerous briefings related to national defense.

Apr 7, 2017 Press Release
Washington – Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05)—a Vietnam veteran and Co-Chair of the Military Veterans Caucus—released the following statement on the President’s launch of 59 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian airfield.
Feb 24, 2017 Press Release

Washington – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) released the following statement on the President’s remarks about our nuclear arsenal:

Feb 14, 2017 Press Release

Washington – Following the resignation of Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) released the following statement:

“Michael Flynn’s resignation is only a chapter in this story, not the end. His ties with Russia remain an ongoing concern. He cannot be a sacrificial lamb for an administration that has already displayed a troubling closeness with the Kremlin. We must continue the investigation into Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador. The safety and security of Americans depends on it.”