Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia:
On February 9, 2011, Sen. Webb announced that he would not be running for reelection in 2012.
Before election to the Senate, Webb, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, was the former Secretary of Navy under President Ronald Reagan. Webb is also the author of 8 books, including 6 Vietnam-based novels, and an award-winning filmmaker.
On November 28, 2006, Webb and George Bush verbally sparred at a White House reception after Webb, an opponent of the Iraq War, refused to discuss his son, a solider in Iraq, after the President aggressively pressed him.
Senate Committes in 112th Congress, 2011-2012:
- Armed Forces Committee
- Armed Forces Subcommittee on Airland
- Armed Forces Subcommittee on Personnel
- Armed Forces Subcommittee on Seapower
- Foreign Relations Committee
- Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs
- Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian & Pacific Affairs
- Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps & Narcotics Affairs
- Veterans' Affairs Committee
- Joint Economic Committee
Prior to the Senate:
1977-81 - Legal counsel, House Committee on Veteran Affairs
1975-81 - Provided pro bono legal representation for veterans, including a soldier convicted of war crimes who Webb represented for 3 years after the soldier's suicide, to clear the veteran's name.
1984-87 - Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs
1987-88 - Secretary of the Navy, until he resigned rather than reduce the Navy force structure
1988-2006 - Webb worked primarily as a professional writer and filmmaker. By 1988, he'd already authored 3 successful Vietnam-based novels, and won an Emmy for his 1983 coverage of U.S. Marines in Beirut.
Jim Webb, U.S. Marine Corps War Hero:
For extraordinary heroism in Vietnam, Webb was awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star Medal, 2 Bronze Star Medals and 2 Purple Hearts. Before leaving the service in 1972, Webb also taught tactics and weapons at Officer Candidate School, and served on the Secretary of Navy's staff.
- Birth - February 9, 1946 in Saint Joseph, Missouri, to James Sr., a Scotch-Irish career Air Force officer and his wife, Vera.
- Education - 1 year, University of Southern California. U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, 1964-68. J.D., 1975, Georgetown Law School.
- Family - Married to Hong Le Webb. Divorced twice. 5 children, including a daughter born in December 2006 and 4 children from previous marriages. 3 grandchildren by his oldest child, Amy Webb Hogan. 1 stepdaughter with his wife.
- Faith - Christian
The Webb Family:
Webb's father flew B-17s and B-29s during World War II, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetary. Son Jimmy Webb is an enlisted infantry U.S. Marine whose unit shipped out to Iraq in September 2006.
Books Authored by Jim Webb:
Memorable Quotes on the Iraq War:
On Privatizing Fighting in the Iraq War
"When we say we have 135,000 American military people in Iraq right now, if you take a look at how much of the support, combat service support, private security functions are being done by these so-called "civilians" - they're quasi-military units - you would probably have to say that in reality we have the equivalent of 200,000 American military people in Iraq.
One of the reasons that this is being done is because there are in-strength limitations on the services. In other words, you can't go over in the Congress and fund more than a certain number of people in the Army, in the Marine Corps...
This is not healthy, first of all because the country doesn't understand the enormity of the commitment, second of all because it's extremely costly.
I'll give you one example. You can take a recon marine, a marine who's in a reconnaissance battalion, who probably makes at the most $20,000 a year, and they've been able to walk out of that and go over and make $180,000 a year in some cases working for these contractors. Well that's still being paid by the American taxpayer in the end.
And then the third reason that it's not a good policy is that there really are no legal controls on these people. When these people shoot a civilian in Iraq or conduct themselves in a way where they should be subjected to criminal sanctions or disciplinary action, who does it? I've asked people involved if civilian contractors have ever been disciplined, and I'm still looking for an example as to when they have."
On Early Objections to the Iraq War
"I was an early voice saying we shouldn't go in, that it was not connected to the war against international terrorism, that it was not among the highest national security concerns that we should be considering. My warning before we went in was basically that it was a strategic mousetrap on three different levels: One is that it would involve the nation's focus and attention and resources beyond military resources to the detriment of other interests.
Second was that if you're going to decapitate a government, you would be draining your force structure.
And thirdly, in the sense that we have focused so strongly on the Sunnis while the Shiites have been in a win-win since day one, and as a result we're empowering Iran. "