Foreign Policy / Defense

Our world today is a pretty unstable place, but it didn't have to be this way. George W. Bush's misadventure in Iraq has cost our country dearly in terms of American lives and taxpayer dollars. Ultimately, the ill-fated Iraq invasion gave rise to ISIS and the current Syrian conflict that has destabilized the Middle East, Europe, and beyond.

Endless war is not in anybody's interest, and it's no surprise that the most popular candidate during the presidential primary was Bernie Sanders, an independent whose platform called for an end to perpetual warfare in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. American soldiers know first-hand the horrors of war, and we shouldn't put them in harm's way unless absolutely necessary.

That is why my approach to foreign policy is diplomacy first. Only when all other reasonable alternatives have been exhausted should America resort to using force. And even when force is necessary it should be limited  to only those operations necessary to achieve our objectives. To the extent possible, we should avoid putting American soldiers in harm’s way and minimize so-called “collateral damage.”

Fortunately, our technology is so advanced nowadays that we don’t need to put thousands of troops on the ground. Instead, we can employ small teams of commandos aided by aerial reconnaissance. The hunt for Bin Laden is a prime example of how this strategy can be used to achieve our goals without deploying massive numbers of American soldiers.

When it became evident that Bin Laden was the mastermind behind the horrific 9/11 attacks and he was finding refuge in Afghanistan, I supported sending our commandos there to capture or kill him. This was our ONLY goal, and now that this goal has been met, it’s time for American troops to return home as soon as possible. As your congressman, I pledge to vote to return our troops home as soon as safely possible.

History has taught us that wars are devastating in many ways. Yet despite this, some misguided people have been beating the war drums again for another unnecessary war-- this time with Iran. As a country, we need to do everything in our power to avoid getting sucked into another costly quagmire in the Middle East. The region is already in a state of chaos, and taking on a rising power like Iran is simply ludicrous-- especially since it’s in our best interest to ensure that Iran cooperates with the international community to help resolve the crisis that has engulfed Syria and other countries in the region.

So instead of getting involved in another endless war, we should be using diplomacy to address the Middle East crisis. In doing so, we will need all the help we can get. Whether we like it or not, Iran is a major player in the region and it must be at the table when America sits down with other countries to resolve this crisis. We must resist calls by misguided individuals seeking to fan the flames of war with Iran, and we must act fast to resolve the armed conflict that is spreading throughout the Middle East.

As a congressman, I look forward to using my expertise in foreign policy and knowledge of the region to play a role in solving the Middle East crisis. Everywhere around the world-- especially here in America-- people have high expectations for the United States. People around the world cherish democracy, freedom, and other values embodied in our Constitution. They look up to America and want us to take the lead in finding a diplomatic solution to problems in the Middle East and elsewhere.

As a country, we have an obligation to pursue and fulfill these expectations. Whether we like it or not, we are part of an international community that is getting closer and smaller every day. As such, we must engage with the international community and play a constructive role in promoting peace; tackling global warming; and combatting extremism. In doing so, diplomacy must come first. As your congressman, I will do everything I can do ensure that America pursues a policy of constructive diplomacy and continues to serve as a global symbol of peace and freedom.

My opponent, Mimi Walters, supported YES on authorizing military force in Iraq (Bill sponsored by Hastert, R-IL; Bill HJRes114). Walters supported YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date (Resolution on Prevailing in the Global War on Terror; Bill HRES 861). Walters supported NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq starting in 90 days (Out of Iraq Caucus bill; Bill H R 2237). Walters supported NO on investigating Bush impeachment for lying about Iraq (The Kucinich Privilege Resolution; Bill H.RES.1258). Walters voted NO on Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; Bill sponsored by Boehner, R-OH; Bill H R 3461). I’m certain, if given the chance, she will also vote for an unnecessary war with Iran. She did not care what lies were put before us by the Bush administration and did not want them investigated. She feels that our presence in Iraq is part of our war on terror and that we should be there permanently. Walters is and has been out of touch with WE the People. Another great Republican President and World War II hero, by the name of General Eisenhower, warned us that our government is in bed with the military industrial complex. Walters receives contributions to her campaign from the military industrial complex regularly and feels obligated to work for them, instead of WE the People. She is working for her Wall Street and Billionaire Class campaign contributors. See which industries are Walters' largest contributors here!

Walters’s Voting/Support Record:

  • YES on authorizing military force in Iraq (Bill sponsored by Hastert, R-IL; Bill HJRes114)
  • YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date (Resolution on Prevailing in the Global War on Terror; Bill HRES 861)
  • NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq starting in 90 days (Out of Iraq Caucus bill; Bill H R 2237)
  • NO on investigating Bush impeachment for lying about Iraq (The Kucinich Privilege Resolution; Bill H.RES.1258)
  • NO on Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; Bill sponsored by Boehner, R-OH; Bill H R 3461)
  • NOT standing up for WE the People

Varasteh’s Congressional Pledge:

  • Diplomacy over War in Iran’s case and all other future potential conflicts
  • Remove our troops, as soon as safely possible, in Afghanistan’s case and many other countries we currently occupy
  • Cut unnecessary waste in our military spending
  • Standing up for WE the People
  • Not for sale