Should the US send any American forces, with or without the UN, to the Darfur region of Sudan to stop the genocide?
Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by party; black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria.)
Chuck Baldwin, Founder and Minister of the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Mary Starrett, in an Aug. 11, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"We would support and encourage all private citizens and private humanitarian aid to work to change the situation in the Darfur region.
These United States is [sic] properly a free and sovereign republic which should strive to live in peace with all nations, without interfering in their internal affairs, and without permitting their interference in ours. We are, therefore, unalterably opposed to entangling alliances - via treaties, or any other form of commitment - which compromise our national sovereignty, or commit us to intervention in foreign wars.
Also, the Constitution Party would 'call upon the President, and Congress, to terminate United States membership in the United Nations, and its subsidiary organizations, and terminate U.S. participation in all so-called U.N. peace keeping operations.'" Aug. 11, 2008 Chuck Baldwin
Bob Barr, former US House Representative (R-GA), stated in an article titled "Bob Barr on: Foreign Intervention & Foreign Bases" on his official candidate website (accessed Aug. 19, 2008):
"America should not be the world's policeman. The American purpose is to provide a strong national defense, not to engage in nation building or to launch foreign crusades, no matter how seemingly well-intentioned." Aug. 19, 2008 Bob Barr
John McCain, US Senator (R-AZ), stated in a June 23, 2004 Op-Ed titled "It's Happening Again" cowritten with Mike DeWine in the Washington Post:
"The UN [United Nations] Security Council should demand that the Sudanese government immediately stop all violence against civilians, disarm and disband its militias, allow full humanitarian access, and let displaced persons return home. Should the government refuse to reverse course, its leadership should face targeted multilateral sanctions and visa bans. Peacekeeping troops should be deployed to Darfur to protect civilians and expedite the delivery of humanitarian aid, and we should encourage African, European and Arab countries to contribute to these forces.
The United States must stand ready to do what it can to stop the massacres. In addition to pushing the UN Security Council to act, we should provide financial and logistical support to countries willing to provide peacekeeping forces. The United States should initiate its own targeted sanctions against the Janjaweed and government leaders, and consider other ways we can increase pressure on the government. We must also continue to tell the world about the murderous activities in which these leaders are engaged, and make clear to all that this behavior is totally unacceptable." June 23, 2004 John McCain
Ralph Nader, Attorney, author, and political activist, wrote in a Sep. 15, 2006 letter to President George W. Bush:
"We join with the thousands of Americans who are calling on you to intensify your efforts to end the slaughter in Darfur.
This genocide unfolding before our eyes stands in danger of worsening drastically in coming weeks, if African Union peacekeepers are forced out of the area. But the current situation itself is unconscionable. As you know, the UN Security Council has authorized a plan to send a UN force to Darfur, to supplement the African Union presence and transition to a UN operation. US leadership is needed to turn this plan into reality, especially by persuading other nations to back and immediately implement the plan...
When you address the United Nations this coming Tuesday we urge you to set aside your likely agenda to defend the disastrous war and occupation in Iraq, or prepare for perilous military actions against Iran.
Instead, use the opportunity for a nobler purpose -- to exert leadership on the Darfur issue and challenge the international community to act now, before the situation descends into an even worse humanitarian nightmare." Sep. 15, 2006 Ralph Nader
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), in a July 20, 2007 article titled "Obama: Don't Stay in Iraq Over Genocide" is quoted by Philip Elliott in The State:
"Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday [July 19, 2007] the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn't a good enough reason to keep US forces there.
'Well, look, if that's the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of US forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now - where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife - which we haven't done,' Obama said in an interview with The Associated Press.
'We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which we haven't done. Those of us who care about Darfur don't think it would be a good idea,' he said." July 20, 2007 Barack Obama
(Candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria appear below in black and white and in alphabetical order by party.)
Hillary Clinton, US Senator (D-NY), at the July 23, 2007 CNN/YouTube Democratic Presidential Debate held in Charleston, SC, stated:
"[Anderson] Cooper: Senator Clinton, would you agree with Senator Biden? American troops should got to Darfur?
[Hillary] Clinton: I agree completely that what we need to do is start acting instead of talking. That means accelerating the United Nations peacekeeping forces along with the African Union. It means moving more quickly on divestment and sanctions on the Sudanese government, including trying to use the diplomacy to get China involved. And, finally, it does mean a no-fly zone. We can do it in a way that doesn't endanger humanitarian relief.
[Anderson] Cooper: How about American troops on the ground?
[Hillary] Clinton: I think NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] has to be there with the no-fly zone, and I think that only the United States can provide the logistical support and the air lift to make a no-fly zone and the actual delivery of humanitarian aid work.
[Anderson] Cooper: Just in the spirit of trying to get the answer, does that mean no American ground troops?
[Hillary] Clinton: American ground troops I don't think belong in Darfur at this time. I think we need to focus on the United Nations peacekeeping troops and the African Union troops. We've got to figure out what we're doing in Iraq, where our troops are stretched thin, and Afghanistan, where we're losing the fight to al Qaeda and bin Laden." July 23, 2007 Hillary Clinton
John Edwards, former US Senator (D-NC), offered the following in an article titled "A Plan For Action In Darfur And Uganda" on his official candidate website (accessed Jan. 9, 2008):
"A Comprehensive Plan for US and NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] Action to End the Genocide in Darfur:
John Edwards believes we should work with NATO, one of the world's most effective security organizations, to make sure the UN [United Nations] process will be as rapid, tough, and effective as possible...Edwards called for a combination of US and NATO actions to accelerate the peacekeeping process and stop the genocide.
President Bush should reverse his decision to delay new American sanctions on 29 companies owned or controlled by the Sudanese government.
American airlift capabilities, logistical support and intelligence operations should be deployed to assist UN and African Union peacekeeping efforts in Darfur.
The US should convene within the next 30 days an emergency meeting of NATO's leadership to act on Darfur." Jan. 9, 2008 John Edwards
Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City, stated in a July 19, 2007 YouTube video titled "Rudy Talks About the Darfur Crisis in Cedar Rapids" of C-SPAN coverage of presidential campaigns in Cedar Rapids, IA:
"[Audience Questioner]: If elected could you commit the US's fair share of the UN [United Nations]/A.U. [African Union] Peacekeeping Forces, which is a fourth of that cost?
[Rudy Giuliani]: I would commit to America playing not only its fair share, but America playing a bigger role in ending the genocide in Darfur... We should play a role in it and we should play the biggest role because we are the biggest power in the world." July 19, 2007 Rudy Giuliani
Mike Gravel, former US Senator (D-AK), stated at the July 23, 2007 CNN/YouTube Democratic Presidential Debate held in Charleston, SC:
"Question: I'm Gabriel. And I'm Connie, from a refugee camp near Darfur. Before you answer this question, imagine yourself the parent of one of these children. What action do you commit to that will get these children back home to a safe Darfur and not letting it be yet another empty promise?
[Anderson] Cooper: Governor Richardson, what are you going to do? Would you commit American troops?...Senator Gravel?
[Mike] Gravel: The problem goes a little bit deeper than that. It's because we haven't owned up to our responsibilities to a sense of global governance. And so now, you've got a situation with the United States of America, as Joe says, wants to go in, but the African nations don't want us there. What's the message? They're afraid of us. They're flat afraid of us." July 23, 2007 Mike Gravel
Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, stated at the Nov. 28, 2007 Republican Presidential Debate held at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD, hosted by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS):
"[Cynthia] Tucker: Governor, does the US have a role to play in ending the genocide in Darfur? And, if so, what should that role be?
[Mike] Huckabee: I think we have some role to play in it, but I guess what disturbs me even more, we have not even addressed the genocide that's going on and the infanticide in our own country with the slaughter of millions of unborn children." Nov. 28. 2007 Mike Huckabee
Duncan Hunter, US Representative (R-CA), at the Nov. 28, 2007 Republican Presidential Debate held at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD, hosted by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), stated:
"[Cynthia] Tucker: ... [D]oes the US have a role to play in ending the genocide in Darfur? And, if so, what should that role be?
[Duncan] Hunter: The outside troops, UN and African Union, are not getting the job done because they're garrisoned far away from the villages that get hammered by the Janjaweed. By the time the damage has been done, the troops always get there late. What we probably need to do is get a humanitarian corridor driven up through that vast country, where we have armed convoys, UN convoys or African Union convoys to get food and medicine to those people that need it most. And lastly, teach those villages self-defense, because the troops aren't getting there in time." Nov. 28, 2007 Duncan Hunter
ProCon.org emailed the Imperato campaign on Jan. 21, 2008 with this question. Mr. Imperato provided a response to this question and 26 others during a recorded 45-minute telephone interview with ProCon.org on Mar. 11, 2008. On Mar. 21, 2008 Mr. Imperato no longer met our eligibility criteria for inclusion on this site, and we stopped transcribing his verbal responses as of that date.
Alan Keyes, Former Assistant US Secretary of State, stated in the Sep. 27, 2007 Republican Presidential Debate in Baltimore, MD:
"[Cynthia] Tucker: ...[D]oes the US have a role to play in ending the genocide in Darfur? And, if so, what should that role be?...
[Alan] Keyes: I have to say I'm appalled by the suggestion that we retreat into some kind of fortress America and forget who we are. We are a nation of nations, a people of many peoples. We are in touch with every people on the face of the Earth. If somebody is being hurt somewhere in the world, somebody in America grieves for them.
And I don't believe we can turn our backs on that universal significance, that universal mission. I think a lot of suggestions made here in terms of how we get involved are good ones. We don't have to send troops, but we need to support and reinforce the sense of local, regional responsibility...for both humanitarian and military order in that region." Sep. 27, 2007 Alan Keyes
Dennis Kucinich, US Representative (D-OH), at the June 28, 2007 All-American Presidential Forums, hosted by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and held at Howard University in Washington, DC, stated:
"It's time for the United States to stop looking at Africa as a place where our corporations can exploit the people. I mean, let's face it. If Darfur had a large supply of oil, this administration would be occupying it right now." June 28, 2007 Dennis Kucinich
Frank McEnulty, an Independent candidate and President of Our Castle Homes, in a Dec. 20, 2007 email to ProCon.org, stated:
"As much as I would like to say yes, I find that I must say no. Without the consent and backing of the UN or the government of the Sudan it would not make sense for us to go to Darfur. My reason for this is as follows. A small force would be able to accomplish little in a country as vast as the Sudan and the Darfur region. A large force without an invitation or the backing of the UN would be seen as an invasion and soon degenerate into another Iraq type of situation.
We should be something about atrocities like Darfur and the Congo because we are the country with the best ability at this time to do so, but we must work first to get backing and agreement from the UN or at least a consortium of countries. This is why it is so important that the next President spend a lot of time on repairing our standing with the rest of the world community." Dec. 29, 2007 Frank McEnulty
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated at the Nov. 28, 2007 Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and held at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD:
"[Cynthia] Tucker: ... [D]oes the US have a role to play in ending the genocide in Darfur? And, if so, what should that role be?
[Ron] Paul: The US government has no authority. There's no constitutional authority. There's no moral authority. There's plenty of moral authority and responsibility for individuals to participate. But every time we get involved, no matter where, for good intentions, believe me, we're getting involved in a civil war.
Even when you send food, it ends up in the hands of the military and they use it as weapons. So it's not well-intended. We should direct our attention only to national security and not get involved for these feel-good reasons of going overseas for the various reasons." Nov 28, 2007 Ron Paul
Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, stated at the July 23, 2007 CNN/YouTube Democratic Presidential Debate held in Charleston, SC:
"[Anderson] Cooper: Governor Richardson, what are you going to do? Would you commit American troops?
[Bill] Richardson: ...This is what I would do: It's diplomacy. It's getting UN [United Nations] peacekeeping troops and not African Union troops. It's getting China to pressure Sudan. It's getting the European Union to be part of economic sanctions in Sudan. It's called leadership. A no-fly zone, I believe, would be an option. But we have to be concerned about humanitarian workers being hurt by planes, being shot...
[Anderson] Cooper: You say UN troops. Does that mean American troops?
[Bill] Richardson: United Nations peacekeeping troops, and that would primarily be Muslim troops. We need a permanent UN peacekeeping force, stationed somewhere. If we get UN peacekeeping troops authorized for Darfur, there's some already there, it'll take six months for them to get there. Genocide is continuing there; 200,000 have died; close to 2 million refugees in that region. America needs to respond with diplomacy, with diplomatic leadership." July 23, 2007 Bill Richardson