Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Questions for the Candidates

In case anyone's listening, here are some serious questions I'd like to see asked of the candidates. All are related to security and foreign relations.

Clinton: You've said that we will never have boots on the ground in the Middle East again. Since we already have a large number of Special Forces training and aiding our allies, are you saying that you would withdraw them?

Follow-up: Doesn't this mean that you are ceding the Middle East to Iran and Russia?

Trump: The past couple of years have shown that air power by itself is not enough to defeat ISIS. How will you handle the need for American boots on the ground?

Clinton: The Iran treaty was negotiated in secret while members of the Obama administration lied to Congress about sanctions and the intentions of Iran. It was never formally presented to the Senate to ratify, it is in force by executive order. Among the conditions for the treaty to continue, the US has to refrain from interfering with Syria's Bashir who has repeatedly used poison gas on his populous. Will you abide by the terms of the treaty? If not, how will you change it?

Trump: Same question.

Clinton: Your anti-terrorism plan basically consists of increased spying on Americans. Is there anything else to your plan?

Trump: You have also called for increased spying but more targeted at Muslims. Given your reluctance to engage Islamic extremists overseas, how will you stop self-radicalization?

Clinton: President Obama scaled back on American pro-democracy efforts across the globe. Will you continue his policies or return them to the levels they were under President Bush or even your husband?

Follow-up: Obama opened relations with Cuba without any human rights concessions. Will you follow his lead in dealing with the Castro brothers or will you apply pressure on them to improve human rights?

Trump: You have talked about withdrawing from NATO and closing overseas bases. American protection is more than a matter of defense. It is also a huge bargaining chip in trade negotiations and international crises. It would also give Russia and China a great deal more international influence. Given these factors, don't the benefits of overseas bases balance out the costs.

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