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5 Things You Should Know About Mike Pence's Foreign Policy

Created: 18 July, 2016
Updated: 17 October, 2022
3 min read

Last week, Donald Trump announced Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. Prior to his service as governor, Pence represented the Hoosier State in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. Pence has accumulated a foreign policy record that may influence how he might advise Trump as vice president.

The following are five Mike Pence foreign policy and national security positions and statements:

1. Patriot Act

Pence spoke on the House floor in 2001 urging passage of the Patriot Act. Pleading that instead of fear:

"The legislation is about trust. It is not about fear. It is about trusting the law enforcement authorities of this country with the powers - some temporary, some permanent - to stop those who would wage war on our citizens before they level the attacks. We do not bring this legislation to this floor in fear. We bring this legislation to the floor in trust."

In 2009, Pence sought to extend the roving wiretaps of the Patriot Act for an additional ten years.

2. Iraq

A cosponsor of the war resolution, Pence quoted Scripture and proclaimed the mission's righteousness:

"There is a nation, 50 nations, that stand ready to end [Iraq's] oppression, to dry their tears, and to lead Iraq into a new dawn of civilization, a new dawn of freedom from oppression and torture and the abuse of women and the stifling of basic civil and human rights."

As recently as 2010, Pence defended the Iraq war and President Bush's leadership in it. At that year's Values Voter Summit, Pence said of the announcement of the end of combat operations:

"We would not have seen that day without the sacrifice of the American soldier, their families, and without a commander-in-chief who would not accept defeat in Iraq. Let history record President George W. Bush's decision to surge forces in Iraq was right and courageous."

3. Libya

In March 2011, Pence said to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that he supported the administration's military actions in Libya. He also said dictator Moammar Qadhafi "must go" and:

"I want to continue to encourage and urge the administration to stand with those that are standing in that now-bifurcated country to use all means at our disposal to provide support . . . isolating radio communications and . . . facilitate a coordinated international response, including a no-fly zone."

4. Israel

As a congressman, Pence spoke at the 2009 AIPAC conference and announced, "My Christian faith compels me to cherish the state of Israel."

In 2014, Governor Pence led an Indiana trade delegation to Israel. He met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and some Israeli Defense Forces soldiers on the occasion. Pence said of the American relationship with Israel:

"When it comes to the United States of America, if the world knows nothing else, let it know this: America stands with Israel and I believe we always will."

5. Cuba

With the cooling of relations between the US and Cuba, some states and companies seek to conduct business in the communist island nation. In March, a spokesperson for the governor explained that Mike Pence opposes business ties with Cuba:

"Governor Pence has long believed in policies that will help bring democracy and respect for human rights to the people of Cuba, but it's clear that the government of Cuba has no intention of changing its policies. . . . With that mind, the state of Indiana is not pursuing opportunities to do business with Cuba."