Herman Cain on War & Peace

Republican Businessman & Talk-Show Host

Join Israel in attacking Iran if mission was clear

Q: If Israel attacked Iran to prevent Tehran from getting nuclear weapons, would you help?

CAIN: I would first make sure that they had a credible plan for success, clarity of mission and clarity of success. Remember, when you talk about attacking Iran, it is a very mountainous region. The latest reports say that there may be 40 different locations, and I would want to make sure that we had a good idea from intelligence sources where these are located. And if Israel had a credible plan that it appeared as if they could succeed, I would support Israel, yes. And in some instances, depending upon how strong the plan is, we would join with Israel for that, if it was clear what the mission was and it was clear what the definition of victory was.

PAUL: I wouldn't do that, because I don't expect it to happen. A Mossad leader said it would be the stupidest thing to do in the world. They're not about to do this.

Source: 2011 CNN National Security GOP primary debate , Nov 22, 2011

Economic sanctions on Iran, but no military

Q: What would you do to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon?

Cain: The first thing that I would do is to assist the opposition movement in Iran, that's trying to overthrow the regime. Our enemies are not the people of Iran, it's the regime. And a regime change is what they are trying to achieve. Secondly, we need to put economic pressure on Iran, and work to increase sanctions on Iran. The only we can stop them is through economic means.

Q: In assisting the opposition, would you entertain military assistance?

Cain: I would not entertain military opposition. I'm talking about to help the opposition movement within the country. And then there's one other thing that we could do. We could deploy our ballistic missile defense, & capable war ships strategically in that part of the world. We have the biggest fleet of those warships in the world. And we could use them strategically in the event that they were able to fire a ballistic missile.

Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy , Nov 12, 2011

US intervention in Libya is inappropriate and wrong

Q: Would any of you have gone into Libya?

Cain: I've said many times before that US intervention in Libya is inappropriate and wrong. The US does not belong in this war.

Gingrich: Not with conventional forces.

Cain: Pres. Obama did not make it clear what our mission was in Libya, what the American interests were or what victory looks like. We cannot risk our treasury or national treasures (brave men & women in uniform) without knowing those answers.

Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on Twitter.com , Jul 21, 2011

Diplomacy must never compromise military might

While diplomacy is a critical tool in solving the complex security issues we face, it must never compromise military might. Because we are such a free and prosperous people, we are the envy of the world. Many regimes seek to destroy us because they are threatened by our ideals, and they resent our prosperity. We must acknowledge the real and present danger that terrorist nations and organizations pose to our country's future. Terrorists only have one objective, namely, to kill all of us.
Source: Campaign website, www.hermancain.com/ "Issues" , May 21, 2011

What is mission & exit plan in Afghanistan?

When asked about what I would do about our involvement in the war in Afghanistan during the debate, I answered by asking the questions that should have been asked before we got involved many years ago. What is our mission? How does it serve our interest? Is there a path to victory? If not, then what is our exit strategy?

There is obviously a lot of classified information to which I do not have access. There are dozens of experts and military leaders I would need advice from before I could make an informed decision about a real clear plan for the USA's involvement in Afghanistan. Similarly, a real clear strategy for every country with which we have relationships would be developed, regardless of whether or not we are involved in a military conflict.

I want to be out of Afghanistan and all war-torn countries as much as the next person. But I am not going to propose a half-baked plan based on half the information I would need to make the right decision, just to pretend I know everything.

Source: Herman Cain's column in North Star National , May 15, 2011

No clear strategy in either Libya or Syria

Q: Pres. Obama justified his intervention in Libya saying he "refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action." Yet in Syria, the President has not acted despite reports of hundreds of protestors killed. Which action was right?

A: Neither, for the following reason. We should start with: What's the objective? Second: How does it relate to the interests of the USA? Third: is there a plan for victory, and how do we you define that? In both of those instances, those things are not clear. We need a real, clear national security strategy with every nation, friend or foe. We obviously didn't have that because you can see in those two examples, inconsistencies in the President's decisions and in his actions. Even in Libya, whe the civil strife first started, he was supporting the [rebel] leader. Then he changed; so that meant that we didn't have a clear strategy or a very clear definition what we were going to do if the situation escalated, which is exactly what it has done.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina , May 5, 2011

Undeniable connection between Iraq and War on Terror

Pres. Bush's campaign was clearly able to frame the election as a referendum on his leadership in winning the war on terrorism. What is perhaps most telling about the data in the table below is that, when given the opportunity, voters viewed the war on terrorism and US military action against terrorists in Iraq as two separate issues. Voters were clearly more supportive of Pres. Bush's overall handling of the war on terrorism than on the status of the war in Iraq.

2004 Voters' Most
Important Issue% of votersVoted for BushVoted for Kerry
The disconnect in the voters' minds between the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq demonstrate the the Bush administration and Republican congressional leaders have done a poor job in communicating to the electorate the undeniable connections between these issues.
Source: They Think You're Stupid, by Herman Cain, p. 99-100 , Jun 14, 2005

Other candidates on War & Peace: Herman Cain on other issues:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
GOP Candidates:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(MN)
Herman Cain(GA)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(GA)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Rep.Thaddeus McCotter(MI)
Rep.Ron Paul(TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
GOP Withdrawals:
Gov.Haley Barbour(MS)
Gov.Chris Cristie(NJ)
Mayor Rudy Giuliani(NYC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
Donald Trump(NY)
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Page last updated: Feb 23, 2012