Foreign Policy

I believe in an inclusive foreign policy — one that centers on human rights, justice and peace as the pillars of America’s engagement in the world, one that brings our troops home and truly makes military action a last resort.

This means reorienting our foreign affairs to focus on diplomacy and economic and cultural engagement. At a time when we spend more on our military than the next seven countries combined, our global armed presence is often the most immediate contact people in the developing world have with the United States. I am a strong advocate for drawing down our out- of-control defense spending and reinvesting those resources back into our local communities. We must also demilitarize our foreign policy by repealing the 2001 AUMF, and reclaiming Congress’s constitutional authority over war powers. Doing so is the only way to end our state of perpetual and endless war, and avoid military-use as a last resort in the future.

Creating an inclusive foreign policy also means reconsidering harmful sanctions and other interventionist policies that interfere with democratically-elected governments. Academic research has shown that sanctions achieve their desired goals only about a third of the time and in the worst-case scenario, they can hurt people of a country – generally the very people we’re purporting to help – without making a dent in the country’s behavior. In Congress, I am pushing to end the use of sanctions and embargoes as a means of punishment and control, and instead focus instead on diplomatic solutions with a long-term strategic vision.

I also feel strongly that our foreign policy should reflect our domestic values. That is why I strongly advocate for international programs that address the climate crisis, increase economic opportunity, end mass incarceration and protect vulnerable populations, just as I do domestically. These are principles that must extend not only to our foreign policies but to the trade agreements we enter into, avoiding any economic bargains that undermine our labor and environmental standards at home or abroad. Once we fully implement these policies, we can begin to repair the harm that’s been done, restore America’s broken image, and rebuild in diplomatic relationships.

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More on Foreign Policy

September 20, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON–Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) introduced six amendments to the FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The first amendment blocks the sale of F35s and other weapons to the UAE, a global human rights abuser. The second amendment requires reporting on recent security assistance to Mali, Guinea, and Chad. The third amendment adds reporting on human rights and civilian casualties to the Afghanistan Commission.

August 27, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) led a group of 66 members of Congress, including Representative Ilhan Omar (MN-05), in calling on the Biden Administration to increase the U.S.

August 27, 2021 In The News

As I heard the news out of Afghanistan—the families scrambling to get on American planes, or the thousands of requests for assistance pouring into my office—I was taken instantly back to my childhood. I remembered sitting in a refugee camp in Kenya when I was about 10 years old and overhearing my father and grandfather discuss how we were going to get out. "Only in America can you ultimately become an American," my grandfather said. "Everywhere else we will always feel like a guest."

August 16, 2021 Press Release

MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement on the situation in Afghanistan.

“Like many of us, I have watched the immense human tragedy in Afghanistan in horror. My heart goes out to the Afghan people, especially the many Afghans who risked their lives for a safer, freer Afghanistan, as well the of countless Americans who served in this conflict, thousands of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.

August 5, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON– Today, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Congressman David Price (D-NC), and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), along with more than 70 members of Congress, delivered a letter to President Biden calling for the immediate closure of the prison at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.

July 23, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar led a letter to President Biden requesting more information on the airstrike the United States carried out on July 20th, 2021, in Somalia. The letter also calls on the administration to define “collective self-defense” in the context of the airstrike and explain how the strike fits into the broader Somalia strategy. 

June 23, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-CA), Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO), Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), introduced a resolution reaffirming U.S. commitment to the protection of refugees and displaced persons in honor of World Refugee Day last weekend.
June 11, 2021 Press Release

Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Vice Chair At-Large Chuy García (IL-04), Chair Emeriti Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03) and Barbara Lee (CA-13), Whip Ilhan Omar (MN-05), and Executive Board Member At-Large Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) expressed their support for the democratic process in Peru and their hope that the results of a highly competitive election will be respected. 

June 7, 2021 Press Release
MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken today about the United States’ opposition to the ICC’s investigations in both Palestine and Afghanistan, including what alternative mechanisms for justice the United States supports for Palestinian, Israeli, and Afghan victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity
May 27, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON—Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), and Adam Smith (D-WA) led a letter to Secretary Mayorkas and Secretary Blinken urging for the extension and redesignation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somali nationals in the United States. The letter also calls for a timely Federal Register Notice and a competent public information campaign to notify the impacted community of the decision.