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Although Senator Biden was chosen to be the Democratic candidate for Vice President because of his foreign policy experience as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has often advocated for positions that undercut the road to peace.

Senator Biden was an early supporter of unauthorized US preemptive military action. During the Clinton Administration, he championed the US bombing of Kosovo without legal authority from the United Nations. The UN Charter, a treaty signed by the United States after World War II, requires that no country take aggressive action against another without the approval of the UN Security Council, unless it is acting in self-defense under imminent threat of harm. Russia exercised its veto in the Security Council to prevent the bombing of Kosovo and even though Kosovo posed no imminent threat to the US, Biden supported US action without Security Council approval.

Biden, was an early supporter of the Iraq War. He helped Bush to orchestrate the propaganda that led us to war by refusing, as Chair of the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to honor his Democratic colleagues requests to hear testimony of key anti-war scholars and rejecting requests by dissenting officials in the Bush administration to testify to their opposition. On the resolution to go to war against Iraq, Biden even voted against Democrat Carl Levin's amendment authorizing U.S. military action only with UN Security Council approval, instead voting for the Republican-backed resolution authorizing the United States to go to war unilaterally. Biden was the main Congressional backer of a de facto partition of Iraq, between Kurdish, Sunni Arab, and Shia Arab segments, a proposal vehemently opposed by a majority of Iraqis. Biden's effort to redraw the borders of the Middle East was criticized by the U.S. State Department as too extreme.

Biden, along with McCain, has been rashly recommending that Georgia be admitted into NATO. When the Berlin Wall fell, and Gorbachev ended the occupation of all of Eastern Europe without a single gunshot, the U.S. promised him NATO would not be expanded if Russia dropped its objections to the admission of a unified Germany into NATO. Now we have expanded NATO up to the Russian border, planting missiles in the Czech Republic and Poland and offering Georgia over $1 billion in aid after they attacked Southern Ossetia, provoking Russian intervention in Georgia.

While Senator Obama's statements in favor of negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons and for a reexamination of the need for missile defense are most welcome, we are concerned that Senator Biden's aggressive posture towards Russia may undermine those efforts. This is the time to take up Russia's long-standing offers to negotiate for nuclear disarmament and a ban on weapons in space. We need to prevent Biden from blocking further progress in securing a more peaceful world.


http://www.fpif.org (Iraq position)

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,24234276-26397,00.html (Kosovo resolution, Georgia)

http://www.sofiaecho.com/article/serbian-nationalists-bash-joe-biden/id_31476/catid_68 (bombing Kosovo)

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/edcut/348209 (NATO expansion)