Joe Kent, Republican candidate for Washington state’s 3rd district and retired Army Special Forces chief warrant officer 3, said in an exclusive interview that Iranian proxies that just killed three troops in Jordan have also “definitely infiltrated” into the U.S. through the unsecured southern border.
He called for the Biden administration to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq and Syria, where he said they were “sitting ducks” at the hands of the Iranian proxy militants that have attacked U.S. bases there over 160 times since October.
He said President Joe Biden needs to focus instead on “where our threats are” — the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Iran fights by proxies. Their proxies have definitely infiltrated our wide open southern border,” Kent, who also worked for the CIA, said during the interview.
“We can’t secure our own border. Iran has most certainly already penetrated our borders. We’ve got to get serious about securing our border and starting to track down, locate and deport all the people that have penetrated our borders,” he said.
“The Democratic Party basically prioritizes the security and sovereignty of every other country other than the United States of America. And the Democrats have become the new war mongers,” he added. “They want to leave our troops exposed all throughout the Middle East, just waiting for us to get into a shooting war with Iran.”
“They send billions and billions more to Ukraine, but the last thing they ever want to do is actually secure our borders. So she’s utterly failed on everything but most importantly, when it comes to securing our district and securing our country,” he said.
He said his Democrat opponent, Rep. Marie Glusenkamp Perez (D-WA), “refuses to secure our southern border, while fentanyl kills hundreds of our citizens here in Washington State, and killed over 118,000 American citizens in the country.”
He also said even though Perez ran as a moderate Democrat, she votes in lockstep with the Democratic Party.
“Marie Perez voted to leave our troops in Iraq and in Syria and to continue these combat operations that were being supported by this outpost in Jordan. She voted to leave them there. And then she also voted against giving Israel any kind of funding or support while they were attempting to locate American hostages taken by Hamas,” he said.
“She fully supports Biden’s agenda of giving Iran untold billions and billions of dollars, while at the same time voting to leave our southern border wide open in lockstep with the most radical wing of the Democrat party,” he said. “She is absolutely incapable of defending the country,” he said. “She does not understand national security and she is voting exactly how she’s told by the Democratic Party.”
Kent said while the United States needs to retaliate in response to the attack that killed the three American troops, going forward, the United States should pull troops out of vulnerable locations in Iraq and Syria to be attacked by Iran’s proxy forces.
“We are playing directly into Iran’s hands. Never fight your enemy, according to their strength and according to their terms. But that’s what we’re doing here,” he said, adding, “Iran fights by proxy, whether it’s Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria, the Houthis, Hezbollah, Hamas — this is how these guys fight. And in order for proxies to be effective, they need proximity to their targets. So by us leaving these small scattered outposts and even the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad within their range, we’re playing directly to their hands.
“So I’ve been advocating for quite a while, let’s get our troops out of there. Let the Iranians declare victory and say, ‘Oh, we drove America out.’ Let them have that temporary victory. And then once our forces are out away from striking distance, then we can strike back against Iranian Quds Force officers, their special operators and against Iranian proxy groups in Iraq and Syria.”
Kent said he is against striking Iran’s mainland, since it would rally Iranians who are unhappy with the government around the Ayatollah. “If we go and do you know, Iraq war 2.0 in Iran and start bombing the Iranian regime on Iranian soil, that’s just going to rally the Iranian people around the Ayatollah.”
He also criticized Biden’s policies that have given Iran access to oil revenue, and noted that the U.S. currently pays Iraq “billions of dollars a year” that Iran directly controls. He said this means that the U.S. taxpayer is funding Iranian proxy forces to attack U.S. troops.
“People need to understand that those militants are funded, trained and equipped by the Government of Iraq, which is funded, trained and equipped by the U.S. taxpayer,” he said.
“So not only was it completely and totally tragic and avoidable and predictable, it’s also absolutely absurd and every American taxpayer should be absolutely furious about this situation that we’ve put ourselves in [in] the Middle East.”
He also said Biden’s energy policy of killing off energy production in the U.S. puts more money in the pockets of Iran. “Just the other day Biden froze LNG sales and a lot of ports in Texas, in Louisiana, making the top exporters of LNG Iran, Qatar, and Russia.
“So we’ve got to get smart economically and diplomatically,” he said.