1996: Expanded U.S. Bombings in Iraq

Joe Biden wanted the U.S. to wield its “big stick” in bombing Iraq to secure oil supplies.

WASHINGTON, :  US Defense Secretary William Perry points to the UN no-fly zone in southern Iraq that will be extended north to the 33rd parallel effective at noon (1600 GMT) 04 September,  during a press conference at the Pentagon in Washington DC, 03 September, after an attack by US cruise missiles on military sites in Iraq in retaliation for Baghdad's offensive on Kurdish groups. Perry said no additional forces would be required to monitor the expanded zone.   AFP PHOTO Jamal WILSON (Photo credit should read JAMAL WILSON/AFP via Getty Images)
U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry points to the no-fly zone in southern Iraq during a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 3, 1996. Photo: Jamal Wilson/AFP via Getty Images

In 1996, when President Bill Clinton expanded the no-fly zone bombings in Iraq, Joe Biden was an enthusiastic backer. Biden acknowledged that the U.S. had a “big stick” in the form of military power and said, “I think we should swing it hard enough to make sure we maintain the expanded fly zone, no-fly zone.” He added that “the bottom line is that the oil supplies for the world are more secure today than they were yesterday, by the fact that we’ve expanded the no-fly zone.” In the same interview, Biden emphasized that “we need to hit in order to maintain the security of the oil supplies and the integrity of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.”

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