Presidential debate, Boston Mass.: on Foreign Policy


George W. Bush: Vital interests: US or allies threatened; we can win & exit

Q: How would you decide when it was in the national interest to use US force? BUSH: Well, if itís in our vital national interests. And that means:
  1. Whether our territory is threatened, our people could be harmed, whether or not our defense alliances are threatened, whether or not our friends in the Middle East are threatened.
  2. Whether or not the mission was clear, whether or not it was a clear understanding as to what the mission would be.
  3. Whether or not we were prepared and trained to win, whether or not our forces were of high morale and high standing and well-equipped.
  4. And finally, whether or not there was an exit strategy.
I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I donít think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think weíve got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president believes in nation-building. I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders.
Source: Presidential debate, Boston MA Oct 3, 2000

  • The above quotations are from First Bush-Gore debate.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Foreign Policy.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
  • Click here for more quotes by George W. Bush on Foreign Policy.
  • Click here for more quotes by Al Gore on Foreign Policy.
2012 Presidential contenders on Foreign Policy:
  Democrats:
Pres.Barack Obama(IL)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)

Republicans:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Parties:
Green: Dr.Jill Stein(MA)
Libertarian: Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Justice: Mayor Rocky Anderson(UT)
Constitution: Rep.Virgil Goode(VA)
Peace+Freedom: Roseanne Barr(HI)
Reform Party: André Barnett(NY)
AmericansElect: Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
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Page last updated: Apr 16, 2013