Ben Carson on Foreign Policy

Tea Party challenger in Republican primary


Every Israeli thinks we have turned our backs on them

As far as Israel is concerned, when I was there several months ago, I talked to a lot of people. I couldn't find a single one who didn't think that we had turned our backs on Israel. You know, they are a strategic partner for us but also recognize that we have a Judeo Christian foundation, and the last thing we need to do is to reject Israel. It doesn't mean that we can't be fair to other people. You want to be fair to all the children around but you have a special attention for your own child.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

North Korea's leader is unstable, but understands strength

Kim Jung Un is unstable but he understands strength, and we have to present strength to him. We should be encouraging the placement of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense. We should make sure he knows that if he ever shoots a missile at us, it will be the last thing he ever does.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

Use economic power to keep North Korea & Russia contained

Carly FIORINA [to Carson]: North Korea's Kim Jong-Un is a dangerous leader. And both Republican and Democrat administrations have been completely ineffective in dealing with him. So we must continue to isolate him. We will need China as part of that strategy.

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.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican two-tier debate , Dec 15, 2015

Focus on funding refugee camps; not bringing refugees to US

Q: You visited a Syrian refugee camp. What did you learn?

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.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2015 coverage of Syrian Refugee crisis , Nov 29, 2015

Trust experts to decide rules of engagement for ISIS

Q: I want to ask you about ISIS. I was in Iraq last week at an air combat control center and one of the things they told me is they aim for zero civilian casualties and sole purpose ISIS structures. But would you like to see the rules of engagement loosened? Should that change?

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?

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 29, 2015

Political solution must accompany military solution in Syria

Q: You said on Facebook, "We must find a political end to this conflict," meaning you don't think there is a military solution to the Syria situation?

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.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 29, 2015

Continue to confront China in South China Sea

Q: The US recently sent a guided missile destroyer within the 12-mile territorial border in the South China Sea, of China's manmade islands. Is that enough of a statement?

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.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interview by Martha Raddatz , Nov 1, 2015

Corner Putin by arming Ukraine & reducing oil dependence

We need to be opposing Putin in parts of the world other than Syria. It's not just keeping his influence out of the Middle East, which he truly wants, but also in his own area of the world, the whole Baltic Basin, we need to have more than one or two armored brigades there to show some strength. And particularly you look at the Baltic States, they're really quite nervous about him. When they look at what we did with Ukraine--or what we didn't do--they have good reason to be nervous. We need to reestablish ourselves in that area. We need to give Ukraine offensive weapons. We need to reestablish a missile defense system in the eastern bloc of countries so that we oppose him. Let's keep him on the run, we need to recognize that his fuel is oil. And we need to do everything we can to develop our energy resources at an economical rate so that we keep the oil prices down, which keeps him in his little box.
Source: ABC This Week 2015 interview by Martha Raddatz , Nov 1, 2015

Take a stronger stance against Chinese cyber-attacks

Q: You said in an op-ed recently that we should retaliate against China for large-scale cyber attacks. Are you saying offensive cyber attacks against China?

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.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interview by Martha Raddatz , Sep 27, 2015

Foreign development aid is a win-win situation

I deeply believe in compassion, in being kind to other people. And I think we're in a very good position in America to be kind to other people. I think about what's going on in a nation like Cameroon right now, where some major American companies have gone over there and are helping to develop millions of acres of incredibly fertile land and getting record crops. Making a lot of money, I will admit, but also developing the infrastructure of that nation and providing jobs and teaching them the ag business so that they can do that on their own to a much better extent.

And that's the kind of thing that is a win-win situation. It's making friends for us. And we're not borrowing money from China so we can give them billions of dollars in aid. That's the kind of thing that makes sense. That's the kind of thing we also should be doing in South and Central America, so that they won't feel that they need to come here.

Source: 10th Annual Value Voters Summit - 2015 , Sep 25, 2015

Leave no doubt that we will stand with South Korea

Q: The North Korea leader, Kim Jong-un, ordered his front-line military units to go on a semi-war state. What is your sense of the situation right now?

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.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 23, 2015

Obama has turned his back on Israel

Q: As president, you say you would revoke the current Iran deal and negotiate a better one and you also are fiercely critical of President Obama. In article you wrote for "The Jerusalem Post" in which you suggested the President was anti-Semitic; is he?

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.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 16, 2015

Military force is not off the table when it comes to Russia

Q: on your website you say about Russia: "All options should remain on the table when dealing with international bullies such as President Putin". Dr. Carson, when you say all options, does that include the use of military force?

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.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 10, 2015

Would not go to war with Russia over Ukraine

Q: Would you go to war over Ukraine?

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.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 10, 2015

Pinnacle nations before us contributed to their own demise

It is very important for the American people to know that we are the pinnacle nation in the world, and while there have been a number of pinnacle nations before us, a lot of them contributed to their own demise in a similar fashion that we are now. Whether it be 16th-century Spain or Ancient Rome--these powers spent themselves into trouble. Why would we think we could do the same thing and not be adversely affected?

Historians will write about this critical turning point for our nation, and how we responded to the dynamic forces changing our world. We can no longer afford the continuing dysfunction of opposing partisan rancor or the empty rhetoric of the political class. If America is to survive the challenges of the modern world, we need to heal, we need to inspire, and we need to revive an exceptional spirit that built America. Respect for one another has become the exception, not the norm.

Source: WorldNetDaily OpEd by Carson, for 2016 Trump transition , May 4, 2015

Back Israel and follow what Netanyahu wants on Iran

On Israel, Carson says U.S. should listen to and consider Netanyahu's words.

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].

Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , May 3, 2015

Don't just sit around waiting to see what other people do

Carson fielded a few questions during the question-and-answer session about his views on foreign affairs, saying that the U.S. must take a stronger leadership role in the world: "I'm ready for leadership on the world stage and not just sitting around and waiting to see what other people do," he said.

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.

Source: N.Y. Daily News on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Feb 26, 2015

America on same bad path as ancient Rome, but we can fix it

Why is it so important that we educate our people? Because we don't want to go down the same pathway as many other pinnacle nations that have preceded us. I think particularly about ancient Rome. Very powerful. Nobody could even challenge them militarily. But what happened to them? They destroyed themselves from within--moral decay, fiscal irresponsibility--they destroyed themselves. If you don't think that can happen to America, you get out your books and you start reading. But you know, we can fix it. Why can we fix it? Because we're smart. We have some of the most intellectually gifted people leading our nation. All we need to do is remember what our real responsibilities are so that we can solve the problems.
Source: One Nation, by Dr. Ben Carson, on National Prayer Breakfast , May 20, 2014

US is exceptional, with different values than rest of world

Q: What is it that's at stake in the upcoming election?

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.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 18, 2014

Rome's decline began with immoral lifestyle; like in America

The US is still the pinnacle nation in the world today. It is not, however, the 1st pinnacle nation to face a decline. Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Great Britain, France, and Spain all enjoyed their time at the top of the world, so to speak--in many cases, for several hundred years. Then, as they began to decline, they all experienced some peculiar similarities: an inordinate emphasis on sports and entertainment, a fixation with lifestyles of the rich and famous, political corruption, and the loss of a moral compass.

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?"

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 9 , Jan 24, 2012

Freedom is why people come from Cuba to US, not vice versa

I had an opportunity to visit Cuba with a group of young American business leaders. There the government essentially owns and controls everything. The vast majority of the population must be satisfied with meager resources. However, their basic health care needs are taken care of and they are unlikely to be homeless or starving.

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.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 84-85 , Jan 24, 2012

US poverty pales compared to billions in India & Africa

God has opened many doors of opportunity throughout my lifetime, but I believe the greatest of those doors was allowing me to be born in the USA.

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.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p.180 , Jan 24, 2012

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