Fact check: Did Biden support wars in Iraq, Serbia, Syria and Libya?
During a speech at the Republican National Convention, Republican Sen. Rand Paul advocated for President Donald Trump's re-election by portraying him as someone who wants to end wars and casting Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as someone "who consistently called for more war."Posted — Updated
Republican Sen. Rand Paul advocated for President Donald Trump’s re-election by portraying him as someone who wants to end wars and casting Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as someone "who consistently called for more war."
"Joe Biden voted for the Iraq War, which President Trump has long called the worst geopolitical mistake of our generation," Paul said Aug. 25 during the second night of the Republican National Convention. "I fear Biden will choose war again. He supported the war in Serbia, Syria, Libya."
Is the senator from Kentucky right about Biden’s record? Biden voted for a resolution that paved the way for the Iraq War, and for a non-binding resolution to authorize military air operations against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). The conflicts in Syria and Libya happened when Biden was vice president and followed the policies of President Barack Obama.
Biden ‘voted for the Iraq War’
This checks out. In 2002, President George W. Bush argued that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons, sought nuclear weapons, supported terrorism, and threatened peace.
In October 2002, then-U.S. Sen. Biden voted in favor of a resolution that authorized Bush to enforce ''all relevant'' United Nations Security Council resolutions on Iraq and if needed, to use military force against Iraq.
In 2005, Biden was asked in an interview if his 2002 vote was a mistake.
"It was a mistake," Biden answered. "It was a mistake to assume the president would use the authority we gave him properly. … We gave the president the authority to unite the world to isolate Saddam. And the fact of the matter is, we went too soon. We went without sufficient force. And we went without a plan."
Biden ‘supported war in Serbia, Syria, Libya’
Clinton in March 1999 ordered air strikes in response to Yugoslavia’s campaign of violence against ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo.
The Kosovo conflict erupted in the 1990s between two groups within the former Yugoslavia — Kosovars, who are primarily ethnic Albanians, and Serbs, who are of Slavic descent. The two groups long disputed the territory known as Kosovo. After greater Yugoslavia fractured in the early 1990s, the dispute over Kosovo became violent, pitting the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army against the Serb-dominated government of what remained of Yugoslavia.
Paul’s office referenced conflicts in Syria and Libya that started in 2011, when Biden was vice president.
Biden’s campaign said the Obama-Biden administration supported the Syrian opposition in a variety of ways, including by deploying U.S. forces to combat ISIS.
Paul said Biden, "Voted for the Iraq war … He supported war in Serbia, Syria, Libya."
Biden as a senator voted for resolutions that supported interventions in Iraq and Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). As vice president, he followed the policies of the Obama administration, which included interventions in Syria and Libya. Biden’s campaign said that Biden as vice president supported going into Syria, but pointed to 2016 reporting that said Biden within the White House argued against intervention in Libya.
Paul’s claim is accurate but needs clarification or additional information. We rate it Mostly True.
Concurrent resolutions express the sentiment of Congress, but are not signed by the president and do not carry the force of law.)
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