Martin O`Malley on Foreign Policy
O`MALLEY: The terrorist attacks in Paris suggest that we do not have the networked intelligence that we need to defend ourselves. An immune system is strong not because it outnumbers the bad germs in this world but because it's better coordinated. That is not the old way of a CIA and siloed bureaucracies. It requires a new age of rapid communications and intelligence sharing with neighbors that, in the past, a lot of security agencies thought ran contrary to our national interests. When it comes, also, to fighting ISIL on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, we need to up the battle tempo and we also need new alliances with many other nations that are open-ended and ideally work through the U.N. Security Council. It also requires an open-endedness to allow the Russians to come in and help us provided we can get that a short-term political solution that directs their firepower.
SANDERS: I believe that the US has the moral responsibility with Europe, with Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia to make sure that when people leave countries like Afghanistan and Syria with nothing more than the clothing on their back that, of course, we reach out. Now, what the magic number is, I don't know, because we don't know the extent of the problem.
Q: Gov. O'Malley, you have a magic number. I think it's 65,000.
O'MALLEY: I was the first person on this stage to say that we should accept the 65,000 Syrian refugees that were fleeing the sort of murder of ISIL, and I believe that that needs to be done with proper screening.
Q: 65,000, the number stays?
O`MALLEY: That's what I understand is the international request.
Q: But what would you want?
O`MALLEY: I would want us to take our place among the nations of the world to alleviate this sort of death and the specter we saw of little kids' bodies washing up on a beach.
The center of this new strategy must be the reduction of threats. Fast-evolving threats--from violent extremism, pandemic, cyber attacks, nuclear proliferation, nation-state failures, to the drought, famine, and floods of climate change.
Together, we must craft a New Foreign Policy of Engagement and Collaboration. We must join with like-minded people around the world--especially with nations here in our own hemisphere--for the cause we share of a rising global middle class.
We must put our national interest first, we must put America first.
On the news of the day--apparent differences between Obama and the Israeli military on whether chemical weapons had been deployed by the Syrian military--O'Malley deferred to the president's judgment. "It's certainly one of the great challenges," he allowed.
Asked whether the American people, weary from a decade of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, would be ready to engage in another military operation to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, O'Malley avoided specifics. "I believe that the president will make that call," he said, "and the president will have the primary responsibility of making that case to the American people and also to Congress."
How about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? "All of us hope for peace in the Middle East."
A reporter pointed out that on his way into Bethlehem, he would see the controversial separation barrier Israel has erected in the West Bank. O'Malley said he had seen something similar in Northern Ireland. "They call it the peace wall," he noted.
Build a Public Consensus Supporting US Global Leadership
The internationalist outlook that served America and the world so well during the second half of the 20th century is under attack from both ends of the political spectrum. As the left has gravitated toward protectionism, many on the right have reverted to “America First” isolationism.
Our leaders should articulate a progressive internationalism based on the new realities of the Information Age: globalization, democracy, American pre-eminence, and the rise of a new array of threats ranging from regional and ethnic conflicts to the spread of missiles and biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. This approach recognizes the need to revamp, while continuing to rely on, multilateral alliances that advance U.S. values and interests.
A strong, technologically superior defense is the foundation for US global leadership. Yet the US continues to employ defense strategies, military missions, and force structures left over from the Cold War, creating a defense establishment that is ill-prepared to meet new threats to our security. The US must speed up the “revolution in military affairs” that uses our technological advantage to project force in many different contingencies involving uncertain and rapidly changing security threats -- including terrorism and information warfare.
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