Former senator from Tennessee, and television actor, Fred Thompson, declared his candidacy on September 6, 2007.
War on TerrorismIn contrast to some of the other candidates in the 2008 race, Thompson views the war on terror, the war in Iraq and homeland security as triple strands braided into one single issue. As expressed on his campaign website, the fundamental link between these issues is the "threat of radical Islamic terrorists," primarily Al Qaeda.
Thompson maintains a dire view of terrorist threat, which he believes should be countered by diplomacy backed by the threat of military force. Speaking in London in June, 2007, Thompson argued that:
We understand that the Western world is in an international struggle with jihadists who see this struggle as part of a conflict that has gone on for centuries, and who won't give up until Western countries are brought to their knees. I agree with this view. I believe that the forces of civilization must work together with common purpose to defeat the terrorists who for their own twisted purposes have murdered thousands, and who are trying to acquire technology to murder millions more.
War in Iraq
Thompson is in favor of maintaining a state of combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Both, in his view are vital fronts in the war on terrorism. Thompson bases his view on the premise that Saddam Hussein, regardless of his nuclear capability at the time of the U.S. invasion, would have liked to develop plans for nuclear capability. Thompson supports President Bush's plans in Iraq. In his own words:
What people don't think enough about is what if we had not gone into Iraq. You know, after defying the UN 17 times, after corrupting the oil-for-food program and the UN itself, and defying the US, Saddam would have been there, the new king of the hill in that part of the world, with his murderous sons still putting people in human shredders, still a threat to his neighbors, still developing his plans for a nuclear capability.
I mean, he had those plans. He had the technical expertise. Whether he had them on one particular day or not is almost irrelevant. Especially today, looking at what Iran is doing, he certainly would have had his hands or been working assiduously toward getting the capability of nuclear weapons. And that's what we would have been faced with had we not done that. Going in there and deposing him was a good thing. (Quote from Fox News, June 2007, cited on Ontheissues.org)
Thompson's stance on homeland security rests in large part on the idea that the appearance of weakness is a form of weakness, and actually "encourages attacks." By implication, Thompson sees global terrorism as a primary threat to national security; WMD (weapons of mass destruction) are also on his list of major threats.According to his campaign website, he favors military and intelligence initiatives favored by the current administration, including:
- "A larger, more capable, and more modern military that can defeat terrorists, deter adversaries, and defend the U.S. and our interests.
- A missile defense system that can protect the U.S. and our allies from long-range ballistic missiles.
- An enhanced intelligence community, with robust human-intelligence capabilities, focused on terrorism and proliferation.
- A robust approach to homeland security that will protect our nation from terrorists and WMD, regardless of where they come from."