He opines, "Harold Ford is very smart to make this an issue.
He is slowly but surely cobbling together a strong foreign policy portfolio. Tennessee is a very conservative state. Ford cannot go full on anti-war or he will be painted as just an another moonbat surrender monkey.
But then again, he can't out neocon the Republican party either. If a voter accepts the and embraces the Cold War mentality of a war of civilizations against Islam, Ford cannot win them over. He must instead go after those Republicans and independents who are skeptical of our foreign policy.
Most people in this country do quietly wonder what ever happened to the search for Bin Laden. They see Iraq as a quagmire and they want the troops brought home.
This is where Ford can win the foreign policy debate. Corker will likely, to one extent or another, promote a version of "stay the course" or "adapt and win."
Ford, however, is thinking outside the box. He is for peace with honor. He wants to partition Iraq. Separate the feuding parties inside the artificial construct of Iraq, declare victory and then go home. He does not accept a cold war policy that would require a war against nation states. He wants us to resolve the Iraqi conflict and then take the fight back to al-Qaeda and the terror cells that propagate violence.
This is a strong and winning foreign policy. It is not hubristic, nor is it defeatist. It is strong and realistic.
Putting together a strong foreign policy when Corker is hiding from the discussion both increases his gravitas as well as seeks out a strong, easily-explained position to counter the status quo.
This is how Harold Ford wins.
First, A.C. is correct when he says that Congressman Ford does indeed have a very impressive foreign policy record. (You can see that below)
Further, the Congressman is thinking outside of the box when it comes to Iraq. He knows that for almost four years now the administration and the Republicans in Congress have done nothing but the same thing over and over and have gotten the same failed results. Congressman Ford's proposal for Iraq is new, innovative and frankly a welcomed relief from the 'stay the course' attitude that has been ran in the ground.
Finally, with each passing day, voters around this state are seeing that Bob Corker is unfit to be our next U.S. Senator. One major component of this enlightening, is Corker's refusal to even discuss foreign policy. He just won't do it. Whether it be Iraq, the war on terror, the Israel-Palestine conflict, etc. he remains quiet as a mouse. That alone tells us he is not capable of making the tough decisions that are necessary to protect and defend this nation. (Plus his record of handling emergencies as Mayor was terrible)
Our next Senator needs to be someone with foreign policy expertise who can step right in there day one and know what is going on. No more on the job training. Our security is far important to gamble with in this election.
Harold Ford Jr. accomplished on foreign policy; Bob Corker still clueless.
Accomplishments of Congressman Harold Ford, Jr.
Protecting our National Security by Keeping the National Guard and Reserves Strong
“Since 9/11, more than half of all members of the National Guard and Reserves have been mobilized in the war on terror. Thousands of Tennesseans are serving with quiet bravery and determination and we must honor their sacrifices by supporting them in every way we can. No soldier should be sent into combat without adequate armor, weapons and training. No soldier should come home from a mobilization and find themselves without a job or a business because of their service to the country. And no surviving family members should want for their economic security after their loved ones pay the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.”
Congressman Harold Ford, Jr.
- Recognizing the crucial role the National Guard and Reserves have played in our conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Congressman Ford has worked to keep this vital branch of the military strong.
- When the leadership of the National Guard reported that more than $20 billion would be needed over three years to modernize weapons systems and repair equipment used in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ford urged the Bush Administration to address the shortfall and worked with his colleagues to increase funding for the National Guard.
- Congressman Ford worked to help the 278th Regimental Combat Team get the armor they needed after a member of that unit asked Secretary Donald Rumsfeld why 95% of the unit’s vehicles going into Iraq did not have adequate armor.
- Ford successfully kept the 164th Airlift Wing in Memphis off the Bush Administration’s Base Closure and Realignment list, led the effort to transition the unit from C-141 to larger C-5 Galaxy transport and secured the funding to move the unit to new facilities that are fully compliant with anti-terrorism standards.
- When the Bush Administration announced its efforts to close the 118th Airlift Wing in Nashville, Ford immediately opposed it. Ford has lobbied to keep the unit open and introduced legislation to disapprove all of President Bush’s plans to close military bases.
- Upon learning that members of the 278th Regimental Combat Team were deployed to Iraq with M1A1 Abrams tanks without a critical safety device that prevents tank drivers from being injured or killed, Ford urged the Pentagon to modify the tanks.
- Ford supports the New GI Bill of Rights for the 21st Century that will repeal unfair tax burdens on military families, provide veterans with the benefits they deserve, such as affordable health care, education and job training and improved benefits for our National Guard and Reservists.
- Ford supports HR 808, which would eliminate the deduction of VA survivor benefits from the Survivor Benefit Plan for survivors of members who die of service-connected causes.
- Ford supported H.R. 548, the Military Survivor Benefits Improvement Act which passed as an amendment to the FY 2005 National Defense Authorization Act. Because of this bill, the Pentagon increased life insurance options for military service members from $250,000 to $400,000 and the survivor death benefit from $12,000 to $100,000.
- Ford supported legislation to extend TRICARE health benefits to the National Guard and Reserves. The legislation was approved in the FY 2006 National Defense Authorization Act.
- Most guardsmen and reservists take pay cuts when they are called to active duty. As a member of the House Budget Committee, Ford supported budget increases for the National Guard and Reserves, including a permanent increase in imminent danger and family separation pay and a reenlistment bonus for members of the Selected Reserves.
- Ford also supports legislation to ensure that the National Guard and reserve components are able to maintain adequate retention and recruitment levels by protecting the financial security of the families of activated members of the National Guard and of the Reserve.
- Ford supports increased funding for medical and dental screening for National Guard and Reserves prior to mobilization and an extension of transitional health benefits for National Guard and Reserves from 60 days to 180 days following the completion of active duty.
Defense and the War on Terror: Congressman Ford has been at the forefront of these issues. He has brought home over $5 trillion to the Military, Homeland Security, and Intelligence departments since 9/11 and introduced legislation to improve our efforts in the war on terror.
- Ford seeks to make Tennessee a homeland security role model for the entire nation. “Frustrated by what he perceives as a lack of focus in Washington on the issue of Homeland Security, Ford has been pushing hard for Tennessee to develop a comprehensive model he would be able to promote on a national stage. In May, Ford hosted a first-of-its-kind meeting on Homeland Security in the FedEx Center auditorium on the University of Memphis campus. Over 200 men and women representing law enforcement, the medical community, city and county governments and fire departments across Tennessee attended.”
Dyersburg State Gazette, 07/08/05
- Congressman Ford hosts the 1st ever homeland security summit in the State of Tennessee. “National and local leaders Friday said keeping Tennessee secure will take more money, less complacency and a lot of cooperation. The state has more than 50 potential terrorist targets, including bridges, chemical plants and distribution hubs. U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. hosted a homeland security summit Friday at the University Of Memphis FedEx Institute Of Technology to get leaders together to share their concerns. “ Memphis Commercial Appeal, 05/07/05
- Is the authored and sponsor of HR 922: A bill too improve treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder for veterans of service in Afghanistan and Iraq and the war on terrorism. Introduced 2/17/2005
- Appointed by U.S. Joint Forces Command to serve on the Transformation Advisory Group: This group of political, military and academic leaders are working with the Pentagon to transform the armed forces into a more flexible and agile fighting force.
- Congressman Ford proposed the Homeland Security Strategy Act. This bill creates a comprehensive four-year review for national security similar to the Defense Department’s review. This plan would put federal, state, local and private-sector leaders in the homeland security fight together to develop a comprehensive strategy and enable national security leaders to methodically assess priorities, assets and resources every four years to ensure the nation is best able to prevent and respond to terrorist attack. HR 1383, introduced 3/17/2005
- Co-sponsored the Call to Service Act, this piece of legislation would link the Corporation for National and Community Service with the newly created Office of Homeland Defense to expand AmeriCorps to include new homeland security and safety positions.
- Congressman Ford co-sponsored the Intelligence Transformation Act, a bill that creates a Director of National Intelligence who will have full budgetary authority over all intelligence agencies. The bill also creates the position of Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, who will also serve as the Deputy Director of National Intelligence.
- Voted YES on Fiscal 2006 Homeland Security Appropriations conference bill that would appropriate $31.9 billion in fiscal 2006 for the Homeland Security Department and related agencies. The bill includes $6 billion for customs and border protection; $5.9 billion for the Transportation Security Administration, including fees; $7.8 billion for the Coast Guard; $1.2 billion for the Secret Service and $2.6 billion for response and recovery efforts conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. HR 2360, 10/6/2005, Passed 347-70
- Voted YES to appropriate $51.8 billion in fiscal 2005 supplemental spending for disaster relief to areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. The bill would provide $50 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, $1.4 billion for the Defense Department and $400 million for the Army Corps of Engineers. HR 3673, 09/08/2005, Passed 410-11
- Voted YES on Fiscal 2006 Intelligence Authorization. A bill that would authorize classified amounts in fiscal 2006 for U.S. intelligence activities and agencies including the CIA, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. HR 2475, 6/21/2005, Passed 409-16
- Voted YES on Fiscal 2006 Defense Appropriations bill that would appropriate $408.9 billion, including $45.3 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The total includes $116.1 billion for operations and maintenance, $76.8 billion for procurement and $71.7 billion for research and development. It also includes $7.6 billion for ballistic missile defense and $84.1 billion for military personnel, including a 3 percent pay raise for military personnel. HR 2863, 6/20/2005, Passed 398-19
- Voted YES on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, which appropriated $441.6 billion for the Department of Defense. HR 1815, 05/25/2005, Passed 390-39
- Voted YES on passage of the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, which authorizes $34.2 in appropriations for fiscal year 2006 the Department. HR 1817, 05/18/2005, Passed 424-1
- Voted YES on Fiscal 2006 Homeland Security Appropriations to provide $31.9 billion in fiscal 2006 for the Homeland Security Department, including $22 billion for security, enforcement and investigation activities, such as the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Coast Guard and the Secret Service. It would provide $5.7 billion for the Transportation Security Administration and $3.6 billion for the Office of State and Local Coordination and Preparedness, including $2.8 billion for state and local homeland security grant programs. It also would withhold $310 million from the department until it implements new air cargo screening measures and deploys more explosive-detection technologies at airports around the country. HR 2360, 5/17/2005, Passed 424-1
- Voted YES on Fiscal 2006 Homeland Security Appropriations’ Chemical Plant Security amendment that would increase funding by $50 million for state and local grant programs to improve security of chemical plants. The amendment would be offset by a $50 million cut for the Office of the Under Secretary for Management. HR 2360, 5/17/2005, Passed 225-198
- Voted YES to recommit Fiscal 2005 Supplemental Appropriations to the conference committee with instructions to include Senate language that would provide for the highest levels of funding for immigration and customs enforcement. HR 1268, 5/5/2005, Failed 201-225
- Voted YES on the $82.4 billion Supplemental Defense Bill in 2005 that made emergency supplemental appropriations for Department of Defense, the global war on terror and tsunami relief. HR 1268, 03/16/2005, Passed 388-43
- Voted YES on the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act. Legislation that established Director of National Intelligence S. 2845, 12/07/2004, Passed 336-75
- Voted YES on Fiscal 2005 Homeland Security Appropriations Conference Report that appropriates $33.1 billion in fiscal 2005 for the Department of Homeland Security and related agencies. The bill includes $6.3 billion for customs and border protection; $5.2 billion for the Transportation Security Administration; $7.4 billion for the Coast Guard; $1.2 billion for the Secret Service and $5.5 billion for emergency preparedness and response, including $3.1 billion for the state and local programs. HR 4567, 10/9/2004, Passed 368-0
- Voted YES on the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005, the conference report authorized $445.6 billion for the Defense Department and Energy Department's national security programs. Including $25 billion in additional funds for operations in Iraq and provide more than $2 billion for increased protection of U.S. troops there HR 4200, 10/09/2004, Passed 359-14
- Voted YES on Information Access amendment that would direct the Homeland Security secretary to ensure that all security screening personnel have access to law enforcement and intelligence information maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. The secretary would be required to provide Congress with an overview of all department agencies, databases, and other capabilities relating to terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal immigration, screening, investigations, and inspection of goods or individuals entering the United States. Amdt to HR 10, 10/8/2004, Passed 410-0
- Voted YES on motion to instruct House conferees for Fiscal 2005 Homeland Security Appropriations to insist on a conference report that would include the highest possible funding levels for homeland security first-responders, domestic preparedness, emergency management performance grants, fire grants, flood maps and disaster mitigation programs. HR 4567, 10/7/2004 Passed 395-16
- Voted YES on passage of FY 2005 Defense Appropriations. This bill that would appropriate $417 billion for defense programs for fiscal 2005, including $25 billion in emergency funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. HR 4613, 6/22/2004, Passed 403-1
- Voted YES on FY 05 Intelligence Authorization Act , which authorizes appropriations classified amounts in fiscal 2005 for U.S. intelligence activities and agencies including the CIA, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency HR 4548, 06/23/2004, Passed 360-61
- Voted NO on an amendment to reduce funding for intelligence programs such as– the CIA, the General Defense Intelligence Program, the Joint Military Intelligence Program, and the Army Tactical Intelligence and Related Activities Program – by 25%. Amdt. to HR 4548, 06/23/04, Rejected 149-270
- Voted YES for 2005 Homeland Security Appropriations to provide $33.1 billion in fiscal 2005 for the Department of Homeland Security, including $2.5 billion previously enacted for Project Bioshield. It would provide $20.6 billion for security, enforcement and investigation activities, such as the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Coast Guard and the Secret Service. It also would provide $5.1 billion for the Transportation and Security Administration. It also would provide $4.1 billion for the Office of State and Local Coordination and Preparedness, including $3.4 billion for state and local homeland security grant programs. The bill, as amended, would prohibit the use of funds to privatize or contract out services provided by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. HR 4567, 6/18/2004, Passed 400-5
- Voted YES on the $401 billion Defense Authorization bill for Fiscal Year 2004. HR 1588, 11/07/2003, Passed on 362-40]
- Voted YES for the $87.5 billion in emergency Fiscal 2004 spending Supplemental Defense Bill for military operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. HR 3289, 10/31/2003, Passed 298-121]
- Voted YES on passage of Fiscal 2004 Defense Appropriations. The bill appropriated $368.7 billion in fiscal 2004 for defense and national security. HR 2658, 9/24/2003, Passed 407-15
- Voted YES on Homeland Security Appropriations Conference Report the bill would appropriate $30.4 billion in fiscal 2004 spending for the Homeland Security Department and related agencies, about $1 billion more than the administration's request. The measure includes $5.8 billion for customs and border protection, $3.7 billion for immigration enforcement, $4.6 billion for the Transportation Security Administration and $6.8 billion for the Coast Guard. HR 2555 , 9/24/2003, Passed 417-8
- Voted YES on motion to instruct House conferees for Fiscal 2004 Homeland Security Appropriations insist on inclusion of the highest possible level of funding for Homeland Security, preparedness and disaster response programs within the bill and to insist on House language that would bar the use of funds for any aviation cargo security plan that allows the transporting of unscreened or uninspected cargo on passenger planes. HR 2555, 9/10/2003, Passed 347-74
- Voted YES on Fiscal 2004 Intelligence Authorization. The bill authorized classified amounts in fiscal 2004 for U.S. intelligence activities and agencies including the CIA, the National Security Agency, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. HR 2417, Passed 410-9, 6/26/2003
- Voted YES on Fiscal 2004 Homeland Security Appropriations, which provides a total of $30.4 billion, including $29.4 billion in discretionary spending, in fiscal 2004 for the Department of Homeland Security. HR 2555, 6/24/2003, Passed 425-2
- Voted YES on amendment to Fiscal 2004 Homeland Security Appropriations that would bar the use of funds to approve, renew or implement any aviation cargo security plan that allows the transporting of unscreened or uninspected cargo on passenger planes. HR 2555, 6/24/2003, Passed 278-146
- Voted YES on Fiscal 2003 War Supplemental, which provided $77.9 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations including $62.5 billion for military operations in Iraq, $4.2 billion for homeland security and the war on terrorism. HR 1559, 4/3/2003 Passed 414-12
- Voted YES on FY 2003 Defense Appropriations, which provided $355.1 billion for the Defense Department for fiscal 2003, an increase of $21 billion over fiscal 2002 regular and supplemental funds. HR 5010, 10/10/2002 Passed 409-14
- Voted YES on joint resolution that would authorize President Bush to use the U.S. military as he deems necessary and appropriate to defend U.S. national security against Iraq and enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq. HJR 114, 10/10/2002, Passed 296-113
- Voted YES to create the Department of Homeland Security. HR 5005, 07/26/2002, Passed 295-132
- Voted YES on legislation that would provide approximately $28.9 billion in supplemental appropriations for fiscal 2002. The agreement would include $14.5 billion for the Defense Department, $6.7 billion for homeland security programs and $5.5 billion for post-Sept. 11 recovery efforts in New York. HR 4775, 7/23/2002, Passed 397-32
- Voted YES on passage of the bill that would establish a program in which commercial pilots would be deputized as federal law enforcement officers and would be allowed to carry guns aboard airlines. HR 4635, 7/10/2002, Passed 310-113
- Voted NO on Tierney amendment to Fiscal 2003 Defense Appropriations that would cut $121.8 million for construction of silos at Fort Greeley, Alaska. Amdt. to HR 5010, 6/27/2002, Rejected 112-314
- Voted YES on passage of the Homeland Security Information Act. A the bill that would require federal agencies to develop within six months procedures for sharing both classified and non-classified information on homeland security threats with law enforcement and other state and local officials. HR 4598, 6/26/2002, Passed 422-2
- Voted YES on the $383 billion Defense Authorization bill for Fiscal Year 2003. It included the president's request of $7.8 billion for missile defense systems and $7.3 billion for counter-terrorism programs. HR 4546, 5/10/2002, Passed 359-58
- Voted NO on amendment that would have prohibited any funding for space-based national missile defense programs. Amdt. to HR 4546, 05/09/2002, Rejected 159-253
- Voted YES on Fiscal 2002 Defense Authorization Conference Report, which authorized $343.2 billion for defense programs. S 1438, 12/13/2001, Passed 382-40
- Voted YES on Anti-Terrorism Authority Legislation. This bill was designed to expand law enforcement's power to investigate suspected terrorists. HR 2975, Passed 337-79, 10/12/2001