Ben Carson on Foreign Policy
Tea Party challenger in Republican primary
CARSON: I definitely believe that he is unstable, and I do, in fact, believe that China has a lot more influence with him than we do. But we also recognize that North Korea is in severe financial straits, and they have decided to use their resources to build their military, rather than to feed their people and to take care of various humanitarian responsibilities. We can capitalize upon that. We should use our economic power in lots of different ways. I think we can use that in order to keep Putin contained, because he is a one-horse show: energy. And we have an abundance of energy. [We can use that to] put him back in his little box where he belongs. So economic power works just as well as military power, perhaps even better.
CARSON: I was very impressed by the humanitarian effort of the Jordanians. I had an opportunity to talk with many Syrians, asking them what is their main desire? And it is to be repatriated. The international community is spending more time on bringing refugees here, rather than supporting a facility that is already in place that the refugees find perfectly fine when adequately funded.
Q: Your assessment visiting there is that Jordan could take all the refugees; it's just a matter of getting more financial resources?
CARSON: Jordan could take a lot more of the refugees. I don't see any reason why some of the other nations in the area shouldn't also be asked to do it, so that you don't have to go through a big cultural change with them. In terms of money, there's about a $3 billion annual shortfall for the Jordanian refugee camps. If we bring 10,000 or 25,000 of them to the United States, that's not solving a problem.
CARSON: What I would really like to see is an administration that seriously sits down with our experts in that region and ask them what is needed in order to accomplish our goal of eliminating this group of terrorists?
Q: So you don't know whether you'd want those rules of engagement loosened?
CARSON: Those of us who are not experts in that area can sit around all day long talking about doing this or doing that. But why don't we listen to the people who actually are the experts in that area, find out what it is that they need?
CARSON: I think the military solution is to try to exterminate ISIS and the other radical jihadists who will not allow peace to occur under any circumstances until they achieve their goals. But in terms of a place like Syria, the likelihood of an Assad regime maintaining peaceful control is extremely small. And the likelihood of El Masrah or any of the anti-Assad factions maintaining control is also very small. So, you need to be working on some type of mechanism to keep it from being in perpetual turmoil. I think the most compassionate thing when you're fighting a war is to do it quickly. The longer you drag it out, the more people are hurt. And I think we need to work in close conjunction with our Department of Defense, with our Pentagon, with our experts.
A: All of our friends in that region are, I think, are very relieved to see us doing that. Australia, also, is doing that. You know, we need to challenge these boundaries that are not legal.
Q: So is this enough, sending a guided missile destroyer in?
A: It's a good start; I hope we continue to do those kinds of exercises.
CARSON: I'm saying anybody who attacks us in the cyberspace they need to understand that there will be consequences for that. You know, we can't just sit around and talk about it. That's going to be one of the real factors in the future. Not only that, but we have to harden our grid. We have to have several layers of alternate energy. We have to get back into space. In the future, he who controls space will control the Earth. You know, there are a lot of things that we have to do. We have to take a strong stance. Strength is really the defense against aggressiveness by others.
A: Well, I think it highlights the necessity of us taking a very strong stance for our allies. South Korea is our ally. There should be no doubt about that in anybody's mind, including North Korea, that we will stand with our allies, no matter what is going on.
CARSON: All you have to do is go to Israel and talk to average people. And I couldn't find a single person there who didn't feel that this administration had turned their backs on Israel. And I think the position of president of the United States should be one where you begin to draw people together behind a vision. Not one where you castigate those who believe differently from you.
Q: what specifically is anti-Semitic in what the President is saying?
CARSON: I think anything is anti-Semitic that is against the survival of a state that is surrounded by enemies and by people who want to destroy them. And to ignore that and act like everything is normal there and that these people are paranoid, I think that's anti-Semitic.
CARSON: All options includes all options. That doesn't mean that would be my first option. When we look at Russia and we look at Putin, we can realize that he has great ambitions. His ambitions have been thwarted of late because of falling oil prices. And we should take note of that and realize that the economic weapon is a tremendous one in his case. We have incredible natural resources in this country in terms of oil, in terms of natural gas, but we have energy exportation rules from the '70s when we had an energy crisis that need to be gotten rid of, so we can use that to make Europe and other portions of the world more dependent on us. And that decreases his influence and his ability to expand.
CARSON: No, I wouldn't go to war over Ukraine, but I would handle Ukraine a very different way. You know, Ukraine was a nuclear arms state. They gave up their weapons. You know, it was agreed they would be protected if something happened with aggression. Have we lived up to that? Of course, we have not. And what does that say to our other allies around the world? It's not a good sign.
Carson has said the U.S. must staunchly back its ally. He supported Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress [denouncing Obama's nuclear limitation deal with Iran].
The four-day CPAC is commonly regarded by conservatives as a testing ground for likely presidential candidates. Carson hasn't said whether he will run.
DR. BEN CARSON: What is at stake is what kind of place is America going to be? Are we truly an exceptional nation with a different core of values than the rest of the world? Is that what led us to the pinnacle position in the world? Are we a nation that's for, of and by the people? Or are we for, of and by the government? This is what this election's about.
One certainly sees this pattern being repeated in American society today, and if we continue to follow the course of other pinnacle nations prior to us in history, we will suffer the same fate. The question is, "Can we learn from the experience of those nations that preceded us and take corrective action, or must we inexorably follow the same self-destructive course?"
Having spoken to many Cuban refugees, I could only hope that someday they can experience true freedom. Although some people extol the virtues of Cuban society, the tide of illegal immigration is from Cuba to America, not vice versa. More people seem to prefer freedom with the opportunity to create security than security without freedom. If people could freely choose which type of society they preferred to live in, life would be very fair. Americans are free to leave this country any time they want to go live somewhere else; [but] such privileges are not afforded to the average Cuban or those in many other countries where the government controls their lives.
Growing up, I heard many complaints from those around me about poverty, but visiting such places as India, Egypt, and Africa has provided me with perspective on what poverty really is. Hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people in the world live on less than $2 a day. Many of those living in poverty in this country, in fact, would be considered quite wealthy by poor people in other countries. Also, here in the US, there is no caste system to determine one's social status, so there are many opportunities for people to escape poverty without resorting to a life of crime. You are much more likely to be judged in this nation by your knowledge and the way you express yourself than you are by your pedigree. I'm not sure we realize how good we have it on this point.
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