Colin Powell

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Colin Powell : biography

April 5, 1937 –

Views on the Iraq War

While Powell was wary of a military solution, he supported the decision to invade Iraq after the Bush administration concluded that diplomatic efforts had failed. After his departure from the State Department, Powell repeatedly emphasized his continued support for American involvement in the Iraq War.

At the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado,See Powell revealed that he had spent two and a half hours explaining to President Bush "the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers." During this discussion, he insisted that the U.S. appeal to the United Nations first, but if diplomacy failed, he would support the invasion: "I also had to say to him that you are the President, you will have to make the ultimate judgment, and if the judgment is this isn’t working and we don’t think it is going to solve the problem, then if military action is undertaken I’m with you, I support you."

In a 2008 interview on CNN, Powell reiterated his support for the 2003 decision to invade Iraq in the context of his endorsement of Barack Obama, stating: "My role has been very, very straightforward. I wanted to avoid a war. The president [Bush] agreed with me. We tried to do that. We couldn’t get it through the U.N. and when the president made the decision, I supported that decision. And I’ve never blinked from that. I’ve never said I didn’t support a decision to go to war.""Powell: Support for Obama doesn’t mean Iraq war wrong," CNN (October 19, 2008). http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/19/powell.transcript/

Powell’s position on the Iraq War troop surge of 2007 has been less clear. In December 2006, he expressed skepticism that the strategy would work and whether the U.S. military had enough troops to carry it out successfully. He stated: "I am not persuaded that another surge of troops into Baghdad for the purposes of suppressing this communitarian violence, this civil war, will work."James M. Klatell, "Powell: We Are Losing In Iraq," CBS (December 17, 2006). http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/12/17/ftn/main2274583.shtml Following his endorsement of Barack Obama in October 2008, however, Powell praised General David Petraeus and U.S. troops, as well as the Iraqi government, concluding that "it’s starting to turn around." By mid-2009, he had concluded a surge of U.S. forces in Iraq should have come sooner, perhaps in late 2003."Powell says Iraq surge should have come earlier," Seattle Times (July 5, 2009). http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2009420450_apuspowell.html Throughout this period, Powell consistently argued that Iraqi political progress was essential, not just military force.

Role in presidential election of 2008

Meet the Press

Views on the Obama administration

In a July 2009 CNN interview with John King, Powell expressed concern over President Obama growing the size of the federal government and the size of the federal budget deficit. In September 2010, he criticized the Obama administration for not focusing "like a razor blade" on the economy and job creation. Powell reiterated that Obama was a "transformational figure."Carrie Budoff Brown, "Colin Powell critical of President Obama," Politico (September 19, 2010). http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42381.html In a video that aired on CNN.com in November 2011, Colin Powell said in reference to Barack Obama, " . . . many of his decisions have been quite sound. The financial system was put back on a stable basis."

On October 25, 2012, 12 days before the presidential election, he gave his endorsement to President Obama for re-election during a broadcast of CBS This Morning. He cited success and forward progress in foreign and domestic policy arenas under the Obama Administration, and made the following statement: “I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012 and I’ll be voting for he (sic) and for Vice President Joe Biden next month.”

In an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos during ABC’s coverage of President Obama’s second inauguration, Powell criticized members of the Republican Party who "…demonize the president”. He called on GOP leaders to publicly denounce such talk.

Views on LGBT issues

In late May 2012 he expressed support for the legalization of same-sex marriage. He had earlier supported the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. retrieved May 24, 2012.