Rick Santorum on The War in Iraq

Last Updated : Dec 06, 2011


Senator Santorum has remained supportive of the war in Iraq from it's beginning until he left office after the 2006 elections. Senator Santorum's speech on the Senate floor in favor of the authorization of the use of force covers a wide range of areas supporting the war. He initially states that authorizing the use of force will strengthen the hand of President Bush and the international community in forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm and to ensure his compliance with all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.He referred to the dangers presented by Saddam Hussein to that presented by a drunk driver that places all near the road in danger. He states that benign neglect is not morally responsible. He also states that those who are critical of the authorization for the use of force as regime change should note that official government policy is that regime change is the goal of US foreign policy in Iraq.

In September of 2003, Senator Santorum spoke on the Senate floor again in opposition to claims that President Bush and the military did not have an exit strategy or take into account every conceivable variable in planning the war in Iraq. He notes the chaos and fighting in Germany after the conclusion of WWII and states that the fighting of remnants of the Hussein loyalists was planned for and the chaos they are attempting to instill has occurred in numerous wars. He notes that numerous Senators and Congressmen gave speeches noting that the war in Iraq would be very difficult and that the violence in Iraq is both expected and being dealt with accordingly.

In March of 2006, Senator Santorum responded to claims that the Iraqi people were not willing to fight for their own freedoms. He noted that there were still problems in Iraq, but that on a whole, the situation was improving and the Iraqi people were standing up to take responsibility for their own safety.

In June of 2006, Senator Santorum embranced part of a declassified report which stated that weapons of mass destruction had indeed been found in Iraq. The report noted that 500 weapons munitions such as some forms of gas had been found, and that more were expected to be unearthed shortly. Although the chemicals were not in the quantities and qualitites expected to exist in Iraq, Senator Santorum noted that it proved that such weapons did indeed exist.

When pressed in an interview as to the purpose and goal in Iraq, in 2006 Senator Santorum made a controversial statement comparing the war in Iraq to the Lord of the Rings. He stated that fighting the terrorists in Iraq drew their attention from the US and placed it on Iraq. He compared this to drawing the attention of the eye of Sauron from the path of the hobbits.

During the 2006 Senatorial campaign, Senator Santorum stood by his support for the war. In a debate with his Democratic opponent, he stated that the war in Iraq was indeed necessary for the security of the nation. He stated that Iraq represented a clear and present danger to the US. Senator Santorum opposed definitive time tables for withdrawal.


Authorization for the Use of Force

On October 10, 2002 Senator Santorum spoke on the Senate floor about his support for legislation to authorize the use of force in Iraq.


A Charge Against the President

On September 23, 2003 Senator Santorum spoke on the Senate floor about charges made against President Bush that no exit strategy existed for Iraq and that the military had not planned for every contigency.


Iraq's Fight for Freedom

On March 28, 2006 Senator Santorum spoke on the Senate floor about the Iraqi's fight for freedom. The speech was given in response to claims by opponents to the war that Iraqi's were not fighting for themselves.


NGIC Report

In June of 2006, Senator Santorum spoke about a recent National Ground Intelligence Center report that weapons of mass destruction has been found in Iraq. The report listed six bullet points which were declassified portions of the report.

  • Since 2003 Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent.
  • Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist.
  • Pre-Gulf War Iraqi chemical weapons could be sold on the black market. Use of these weapons by terrorists or insurgent groups would have implications for Coalition forces in Iraq. The possibility of use outside Iraq cannot be ruled out.
  • The most likely munitions remaining are sarin and mustard-filled projectiles.
  • The purity of the agent inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives, and environmental storage conditions. While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal.
  • It has been reported in open press that insurgents and Iraqi groups desire to acquire and use chemical weapons.

Appearing on Fox News, Senator Santorum discussed the report and the lamented the continued refusal of opponents to acknowledge the presence of such weapons in Iraq.


The Eye of Mordor

In September of 2006, Senator Santorum was interviewed by the editorial board of the Bucks County Courier Times. He compared the war in Iraq to the Lord of Rings saga by stating that fighting in Iraq pulls the attention of terrosts off the US and puts it on Iraq in the same way that the eye of Sauron was pulled away from the hobbits attempting to destroy the ring.


Meet the Press - Debate with Robert Casey

In September of 2006, Senator Santorum appeared on Meet the Press with his opponent in the 2006 election cycle - Robert Casey. The discussing focused almost exclusively on Iraq, with Iran discussed where it related to Iran. Senator Santorum affirmed his support for continuing the path in Iraq, his views that Iraq posed a threat to the US, and his view that Iraq did posses weapons of mass destruction.


Fox News / Google Debate

On September of 2011, Senator Santorum participated in the Fox News / Google debate. He states that he supports keeping troops there at the present level.

Voting Record

Contract Award Overview

Later in the year, the same amendment was introduced into the Senate by Senator Dorgan. This amendment has the same purpose and failed to achieve the needed votes by a simlar margin. Rick Santorum voted against the amendment to create the special committee.

Rick Santorum voted against the amendment to create the special committee.

Contract Award Overview

In 2005, a series of accidents at military bases in Iraq which were built by US contractors such as Halliburton, prompted Congress to call for investigations into the awarding of contracts. There were two ammendments introduced to separate pieces of legislation to attempt to accomplish the goal of investigating the contract awards process. roll call 228 concerned the Dorgan amendment, and was the first attempt to establish a special committee on the awarding of contracts in Iraq. The amendment failed by a narrow margin in a 53-44 vote. Rick Santorum voted against the amendment to create the special committee.

Rick Santorum voted against the amendment to create the special committee.

Authorization for the use of Force in Iraq

On October 11, 2002 the US Senate cast the first vote concerning the war in Iraq. This vote was to authorize the use of military force against Iraq (H J Res 114). Although the vote to authorize the use of force in Afghanistan was unanimous, the vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq passed 77-23. All but 2 of the 50 Republicans supported the legilslation while 29 of the 50 Democrats voted to authorize the use of force. Rick Santorum voted to give the President the Authorization to use force against Iraq

Rick Santorum voted to give the President the Authorization to use force against Iraq


Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

This representative has not been identified as sponsoring or cosponsoring significant legislation related to this title.


[1] Website: Salon.com Article: Rick Santorum and the "Eye of Mordor" Author: Tim Grieve Accessed on: 08/23/2011

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