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 by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should the United States intervene militarily in Syria?
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, stated the following in an Oct. 6, 2011 debate on NPR, "The NPR Third-Party Candidate Debate," available at www.npr.org:
"Let's stop the growing police state. Let's stop our military interventions...
Government has a role to protect us against foreign countries that would attack this country. But I use the notion of under attack. We are - we continually militarily intervene. And as a result of that, we have hundreds of millions of enemies to this country that but for these military interventions would otherwise not exist...
Whether you vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, I'm going to offer up a couple of predictions. One is we're going to continue to have a heightened police state in this country. The other is, is that we're going to find ourselves in a continued state of military intervention. We are at continuous war with everyone." Oct. 6, 2012 Gary Johnson
[Editor's Note: In an Oct. 9, 2012 email to ProCon.org from Gary Johnson's Communications Director, Joe Hunter, Gary Johnson stated "No" in response to our question "Should the United States intervene militarily in Syria?"]
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following druing his Aug. 20, 2012 press conference, "Remarks by the President to the White House Press Corps," available at www.whitehouse.gov:
"On Syria, obviously this is a very tough issue. I have indicated repeatedly that President al-Assad has lost legitimacy, that he needs to step down. So far, he hasn’t gotten the message, and instead has double downed in violence on his own people...
What we’ve said is, number one, we want to make sure we’re providing humanitarian assistance, and we’ve done that to the tune of $82 million, I believe, so far. And we’ll probably end up doing a little more because we want to make sure that the hundreds of thousands of refugees that are fleeing the mayhem, that they don’t end up creating -- or being in a terrible situation, or also destabilizing some of Syria’s neighbors.
The second thing we’ve done is we said that we would provide, in consultation with the international community, some assistance to the opposition in thinking about how would a political transition take place, and what are the principles that should be upheld in terms of looking out for minority rights and human rights. And that consultation is taking place.
I have, at this point, not ordered military engagement in the situation. But the point that you made about chemical and biological weapons is critical. That’s an issue that doesn’t just concern Syria; it concerns our close allies in the region, including Israel. It concerns us. We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people.
We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation." Aug. 20, 2012 Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, JD, MBA, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following in an Oct. 8, 2012 speech "Transcript: Mitt Romney Remarks at Virginia Military Institute," available at www.nytimes.com:
"The president has also failed to lead in Syria, where more than - more than 30,000 men, women, and children have been massacred by the Assad regime over the past 20 months. Violent extremists are flowing into the fight. Our ally Turkey has been attacked. And the conflict threatens stability in the region...
In Syria I’ll work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and then ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks helicopters and fighter jets. Iran is sending arms to Assad because they know his downfall would be a strategic defeat for them. We should be working no less vigorously through our international partners to support the many Syrians who would deliver that defeat to Iran, rather than sitting on the sidelines. It’s essential that we develop influence with those forces in Syria that will one day lead a country that sits at the heart of the Middle East." Oct. 8, 2012 Mitt Romney
[Editor's Note: In additon to the above Not Clearly Pro or Con statement, Mitt Romney made the following statement on military intervention in Syria during an Aug. 24, 2012 interview with Scott Pelley of CBS News: "I think we have to also be ready to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that we do not have any kind of weapon of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists... whether that requires troops, or whether that requires other actions by our friends and allies."]
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, provides the following statement on her campaign website page "Where We Stand on the Issues," available at www.jillstein.org (accessed Sep. 27, 2012):
"Demilitarize US foreign policy to emphasize human rights, international law, multinational diplomatic initiatives and support for democratic movements across the world." Sep. 27, 2012 Jill Stein