John Kasich on Foreign Policy

Republican Governor; previously Representative (OH-12); 2000 candidate for President


I have a longer track record with Israel than any candidate

CRUZ: Donald and Hillary want to be neutral between Israel and the Palestinians. If I'm president, America will stand unapologetically with Israel. The notion of neutrality is based upon the left buying into moral relativism that is pitched in the media. It is not equivalent. When you have terrorists murdering innocent women and children, they are not equivalent to the IDF officers protecting Israel.

TRUMP: I have a great relationship with Israel. If I could bring peace, that would be a fantastic. It would be one of my greatest achievements as president.

KASICH: I've been a strong supporter of Israel longer than anybody on this stage.

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

Chinese are best way to calm down North Korea

We should be intercepting the ships that are leaving North Korea. Secondly, the same goes with the aircraft. Thirdly, we need to slap even tougher sanctions on North Korea. We ought to talk about arming South Korea and Japan with ballistic missile technology. The Chinese are the best way to calm that regime down and get them in a position of where they back off.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

US should not be world's police in places like Iraq

Dr. Ben CARSON: I was not particularly in favor of us going to war in Iraq, primarily because I have studied the Middle East, recognizing that those are nations that are ruled by dictators and have been for thousands of years. When you remove one of those dictators, unless you have an appropriate plan for replacing them, you're going to have chaos.

Sen. Marco RUBIO: Saddam Hussein was in violation of U.N. resolutions, in open violation, and the world wouldn't do anything about it, and George W. Bush enforced what the international community refused to do.

KASICH: I don't believe the United States should involve itself in civil wars. Civil wars are not in our direct are interest. The fact is, is that we should go to war when it is our direct interest. We should not be policemen of the world, but when we go, we mean business. We'll do our job. We'll tell our soldiers, our people in the service, take care of your job and then come home once we've accomplished our goals.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

Supports Saudi Arabia but knock it off with radical clerics

In terms of Saudi Arabia, look, my biggest problem with them is they're funding radical clerics. That is a bad deal and presidents have looked the other way. We better make it clear to the Saudis that we're going to support you, we're in relation with you just like we were in the first Gulf War, but you've got to knock off the funding of radical clerics who are the people who try to destroy us.
Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

We need coalition of Arab countries, like Bush-41 did

If we're going to have a coalition, we're going to have to have a coalition not just of people in the western part of the world, our European allies, but we need the Saudis, we need the Egyptians, we need the Jordanians, we need the Gulf states. We need Jordan. We need all of them to be part of exactly what the first George Bush put together in the first Gulf War. It was a coalition made up of Arabs and Americans and westerners and we're going to need it again.
Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

Pause accepting Syrian refugees to create stringent checks

An issue that has sparked controversy is what to do about Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war there. The US has said it will accept 10,000 refugees but more than half of the country's governors, mostly Republicans, have expressed concern about refugees coming into their states. Kasich, who said just 2 months earlier that the US should accept refugees from Syria, sent a letter to Pres. Obama this week urging the federal government to not send any more Syrian refugees.

He acknowledged that as governor he does not have the ability to prevent refugees from moving to his state. "We don't have the authority; we can only express our concerns," Kasich said. "I'm criticized for having a big heart but I also have a big brain," he said.

He urged the federal government to "pause," and put in place stringent background checks before allowing Syrians to enter the US. He said refugees should be relocated to "safe zones" located on the borders of Turkey and Jordan and are protected by no fly zones.

Source: NBC News on 2016 presidential hopefuls on Syrian Refugees , Nov 17, 2015

China doesn't own the South China Sea; show US Navy there

Q: What about China claiming artificial islands in the South China Sea, and Obama's response?

KASICH: China doesn't own the South China Sea, and I give the president some credit for being able to move a naval force in there to let the Chinese know that we're not going to put up with it any more.

Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

No more dickering & delays: Syria's Assad has got to go

Kasich called out Russia, which this week began airstrikes in Syria. Moscow maintains the strikes are targeting Islamic State fighters but U.S. officials have disputed that claim, saying the areas hit were strongholds of rebels seeking to oust President Bashar Assad. "We're not interested in military cooperation in Syria with Russia," Kasich said. "Their only interest is in propping up their puppet, Assad. They used the pretext of ISIS to go in and bomb rebels who are trying to remove Assad."

Kasich also sharply criticized President Barack Obama for what he said were years of inaction in the region that has allowed Assad to remain in power. "No more dickering, no more delaying, no more negotiations, he has to go," Kasich said of Assad. "The longer we look at the void that America has created in this world, the more chaos we have. The time has come for the United States to act."

Source: A.P./Yahoo News 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 2, 2015

Keep Iran accountable, WITHIN the existing Nuclear Deal

Q: A number of your rivals say they would rip up the Iran nuclear deal their first day in the White House. What do you mean when you say you "don't get that"?

KASICH: We don't know what's going to happen in 18 months. I've been on the Defense Committee for 18 years, and you got to be careful not to paint red lines that you can't keep. In addition to that, I think we ought to hold Iran totally accountable for what they do, if they break any part of this deal, if they fund the radicals like Hamas and Hezbollah. In that kind of case, we've got to slap the sanctions back on. We would then have the high moral ground to talk to our allies and get them to go along with us. But in addition to that, if we get to the point where we think that Iran may be developing a nuclear [bomb], well then I think military action would be warranted. But let's wait until we get there and let's stay calm because that's one of the most important things we need to do when it comes to foreign affairs.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 13, 2015

Syrian refugee situation is fundamentally a European crisis

Q: What about the refugee crisis as a result of the Syrian war? Do you support taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees this year?

KASICH: I support that. I think it's important that we don't let anybody infiltrate who's part of a radical group. But America needs to be part of this solution. It's fundamentally a European problem, but I think there are some things we can do. Beyond taking [in] these people, I think we can provide some logistical support so people aren't losing their lives. And in addition, maybe some humanitarian aid.

Q: And in the long run?

KASICH: We need to look at this as an opportunity to try to draw closer to our European friends. Finally, I think it's important that Europe and Western civilizations begin to stand up for their fundamental values, their primarily Jewish and Christian values, so that when these folks come, we can have assimilation. So they don't change us, but maybe in some way we either change them or live peacefully with them and we have full integration.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 13, 2015

Refugee crisis is on Europe, but US also has responsibility

Q: Many are now calling for the United States to take in more Syrian refugees. Should we?

KASICH: Well, I think maybe this is an opportunity for the United States and the western world to work together to solve what is an unbelievable crisis. And I think we do have a responsibility in terms of taking some more folks in, making sure they assimilate, and at the same time helping people to actually be safe as they move. That's logistical support. But this is fundamentally an issue that Europe has to come to grips with. We can provide some humanitarian aid to them. But the bottom line is we should have been supporting the Syrian rebels years ago. I pitched Boehner and McCain on it, the administration ignored it. This thing could be over by now. But when the United States draws red lines and walks away without a solid policy, we see human tragedy unfolding right before our eyes.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 6, 2015

Fight ISIS with a coalition including US ground troops

Q: Biggest, toughest foreign policy challenge for the next president?

KASICH: Well, I think radical Islam really is number one. And, you know, I've said all along we should have a coalition. We should be there, including boots on the ground. And we need to degrade and destroy ISIS. Number one.

Q: You would be sending more troops?

KASICH: Well, I would have them in a role where they're going to be on the ground fighting. I mean, you've got the air power, but you can't solve anything just with air power. But I would be part of a coalition and I would take them down and begin to destroy the caliphate.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 26, 2015

Phase out economic aid to Russia & others

Source: Congressional 1996 National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 1996

No diplomatic relations with Cuba nor Vietnam

Q: Should the US have diplomatic relations with the government of Cuba?

A: No.

Q: Should the US have diplomatic relations with the government of Vietnam?

A: No.

Q: Should the US continue funding for Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty?

A: No.

A: Yes.

Q: Should the US continue funding for Radio Free Asia?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support the deployment of US troops to the former Yugoslavia?

A: No.

Source: Congressional 1996 National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 1996

Heed the clear warning of the Cox Report

[Regarding the Cox Report,] “The espionage report sounds a clear warning,” said Rep. John Kasich of Ohio. “Only time will tell if we take heed.”
Source: Associated Press, “Republicans on China”, by K. Srinivasan , May 26, 1999

Engage internationally but choose missions carefully

Theodore Roosevelt understood when military action brought no advantage. When regional instability arose, like the war between Russia and Japan, his instinct was to be an “honest broker” and mediate peace. He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for these efforts. The US should remain strongly engaged internationally, because regional instability will not solve itself. But we must choose our missions carefully. Power is a finite quantity; if we wantonly expend it, for any cause, we diminish ourselves.
Source: NY Times, Op Ed by Kasich, April 16, 1999 , Apr 16, 1999

Focus on terrorism, oil, & nuclear development

The US needs to develop a clear, consistent foreign policy that places the country’s interests first, Kasich said. The US should stay out of the Kosovo conflict and concentrate on preventing terrorist bomb and biological weapons attacks. [US involvement should be based on] national interests. In the 1992 Gulf War, this country had a stake, he said: “Whether we like it or not, the US depends on oil.” [Other interests include] the development of nuclear weapons and whether there’s an achievable goal.
Source: The Concord (NH) Monitor, “Kasich Taps In”, 3/22/99 , Mar 22, 1999

Voted YES on $156M to IMF for 3rd-world debt reduction.

Vote on an amendment that would transfer $156 million from foreign military financing to the Highly Indebted Poor Countries [HIPC] Trust Fund. The HIPC Trust fund is designed to help debtor countries pay off the money they owe to multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Waters, D-CA; Bill HR 4811 ; vote number 2000-397 on Jul 13, 2000

Voted YES on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China.

Vote to give permanent Normal Trade Relations [NTR] status to China. Currently, NTR status for China is debated and voted on annually. The measure contains provisions designed to protect the United States from Chinese import surges and the administration would have to report annually on China's compliance with the trade agreement. The bill establishes a commission to monitor human rights, labor standards and religious freedom in China.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Archer, R-TX; Bill HR 4444 ; vote number 2000-228 on May 24, 2000

Voted YES on $15.2 billion for foreign operations.

Vote on a bill to provide $15.2 billion for foreign operations in FY 2000. Among other provisions, the bill would provide $1.82 billion over three years for implementation of the Wye River peace accord in the Middle East. In addition, the measure would provide $123 million in multilateral debt relief and would contribute $25 million to the United National Population Fund.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Callahan, R-AL; Bill HR 3196 ; vote number 1999-572 on Nov 5, 1999

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Page last updated: Mar 24, 2016