Carly Fiorina on Foreign Policy

Republican primary challenger and former CEO


ISIS & Iran are bigger threats than climate change

Q: The president says that many are exaggerating the threat from ISIS. To quote him, "this is not World War III, and they do not pose a threat to our national existence." Does he have a point?

FIORINA: Well, let me tell you this: news flash, President Obama, news flash, Mrs. Clinton--climate change is not our most pressing national security threat. Actually, it is ISIS, followed closely by Iran. And those two things are linked, so that when our president cozies up to Iran, all of our allies in the Middle East, who are ready to help us defeat ISIS, wonder whose side we're on. And the truth is, under this president, we are on Iran's side, not our allies', who would help us defeat ISIS. You know, one of the things we have to start with is understanding that we must stand up to adversaries.

Source: 2016 Fox News Republican Undercard debate in Iowa , Jan 28, 2016

Russia is an adversary, not an ally against ISIS

Q: The world shares a common enemy right now in the way of ISIS. Russia & Iran agree ISIS is a threat and it must be stopped. Would your coalition include Iran or Russia?

FIORINA: We need to be very clear-eyed now about who are our allies and who are our adversaries. In the fight against ISIS, Saudi Arabia is our ally. Iran is our adversary. And despite Donald Trump's bromance with Vladmir Putin, Vladmir Putin and Russia are our adversary. We cannot outsource leadership in the Middle East to Iran and Russia. We must stand and lead. The Kuwaitis, the Jordanians, the Saudis, Egyptians, Bahrainis, the Emirates, the Kurds--they have asked us for very specific kinds of support: bombs, material, arms, intelligence. We are not providing any of it today. I will provide all of it. And yes, we need a coalition. But only in the US can lead such a coalition. I will lead it. But we must be clear-eyed through this fight. Iran is our adversary. Russia is our adversary.

Source: Fox Business 2016 Republican Undercard debate , Jan 14, 2016

America must lead or the world becomes more dangerous

America must lead because when we do not lead, when this exceptional nation does not lead, the world is more dangerous. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, they all refuse to lead. When we refuse to respond to provocation and bad behavior, we will get more provocation and bad behavior. When we will not stand with our allies, when we will not respond to our adversaries, when we do not lead in the world the world is a dangerous and tragic place. I will be a Commander in Chief who will lead.
Source: Fox Business 2016 Republican Undercard debate , Jan 14, 2016

Push back against China on trade routes & South China Sea

China is a rising adversary. So one of the things we have to do if we want China's support is to push back on China. They, too, recognize one thing--strength and their own economic interest.

I have done business in China for 25 years, so I know that in order to get China to cooperate with us, we must first actually retaliate against their cyber-attacks so they know we're serious. We have to push back on their desire to control the trade route through the South China Sea through which flows $5 trillion worth of goods and services every year.

We cannot let them control the disputed islands, and we must work with the Australians, the South Koreans, the Japanese and the Filipinos to contain China. And then we must ask for their support and their help with North Korea. Because believe it or not, China is as concerned about Kim Jong-Un as we are.

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

Get China to help isolate North Korea's Kin Jung Un

Q: Candidates here have called the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un a maniac who is mentally unstable. Last week he said he now has a hydrogen bomb. What would you do about Kim Jong-Un?

FIORINA: Well, first, Kim Jong-Un is a dangerous leader, without a doubt. 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.

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

Arm the Kurds, the Emiratis, and more

We have a set of allies in the Arab Middle East that know that ISIS is their fight. They have asked us specifically over and over again to support them. King Abdullah of Jordan, a man I've known for a very long time, has asked us for bombs and material, we have not provided it.

The Egyptians are asking us to share intelligence, we are not, I will. The Kurds have asked us to arm them for three years, we are not, I would. The Egyptians, the Saudis, the Kuwaitis, the Bahrainis, the Emirati, the Kurds--all of these understand ISIS is their fight, but they must see leadership support and resolve from the United States of America. We have the strongest military on the face of the planet, and everyone has to know it.

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

Special ops in Syria are too little too late

Q: Do you agree with the president's plan to send 50 special operations forces to Syria?

FIORINA: Well, I do. But I think it's a bit too little, too late. Look, all of us who know anything about it have known that you cannot have a successful bombing campaign unless you have special operations troops on the ground helping to direct that campaign. President Obama hasn't been willing to do that for political purposes. It's also true that he has no strategy in Syria. He has no strategy for ISIS. And it's also true that when the United States of America fails to act, as he has failed to act, are options are diminished.

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

Rebuild 6th fleet instead of talking to Putin

Q [to Fiorina]: Mr. Trump said he could do business with President Vladimir Putin, you say and that they would get along "very well." You've met Vladimir Putin...

FIORINA: Having met Vladimir Putin, I wouldn't talk to him at all. We've talked way too much to him. What I would do, immediately, is begin rebuilding the Sixth Fleet, I would begin rebuilding the missile defense program in Poland, I would conduct regular, aggressive military exercises in the Baltic states. I'd probably send a few thousand more troops into Germany. Vladimir Putin would get the message. Russia is a bad actor, but Vladimir Putin is someone we should not talk to, because the only way he will stop is to sense strength and resolve on the other side, and we have all of that within our control.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

No Iran nuke deal unless we can inspect

You have not heard a plan about Iran from any politician up here, here is my plan. On day one in the Oval Office, I will make two phone calls, the first to my good friend to Bibi Netanyahu to reassure him we will stand with the state of Israel.

The second, to the supreme leader, to tell him that unless and until he opens every military and every nuclear facility to real anytime, anywhere inspections by our people, not his, we, the United States of America, will make it as difficult as possible and move money around the global financial system.

We can do that, we don't need anyone's cooperation to do it. And every ally and every adversary we have in this world will know that the United States in America is back in the leadership business, which is how we must stand with our allies.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

I know more world leaders than any candidate except Hillary

I think to be commander in chief in the 21st century requires someone who understands how the economy works, someone who understands how the world works and who's in it; I know more world leaders on the stage today than anyone running, with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton; understands bureaucracies, how to cut them down to size and hold them accountable; and understands technology, which is a tool, but it's also a weapon that's being used against us.
Source: Fox News/Facebook Second Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

I would have walked away from Iran talks & imposed sanctions

Q: If you were president today, what exactly would you be doing with Iran and their nuclear power situation?

FIORINA: Well, I would have walked away because if you can't walk away from the negotiating table, the other side just keeps negotiating. And that's precisely what's happened. We have caved on every major goal that President Obama set, so I would walk away and I would tell the Iranians that until and unless they are prepared to open every nuclear facility, every uranium enrichment facility to full and unfettered inspections, that we will make it as difficult as possible for them to move money around the global financial system. We can do that. We don't need anyone's permission or collaboration to do that.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 12, 2015

Our allies need specific help to defeat ISIS

Republican presidential candidates are harshly critiquing President Obama's comments regarding the lack of a "complete strategy" to confront ISIS in Iraq. "We don't yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis," the president stated during a question-and-answer session at the G-7 conference in Germany. He highlighted difficulties recruiting Iraqi soldiers, preventing the foreign inflow of ISIS fighters, and resolving sectarian tensions in the war-torn country.

Soon afterward, several GOP candidates seized the opportunity to attack Obama while touting their own foreign policy platforms. In an appearance on Fox News, Carly Fiorina chimed in: "It's been clear that President Obama hasn't had a plan. It's been equally clear that the Pentagon has been giving him options, and of course our allies have been asking for very specific things to help us defeat ISIS."

Source: RealClearPolitics 2015 coverage: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 9, 2015

I know the leaders of the Mideast; Obama & Hillary do not

Having never held political office before, Fiorina is obviously a longshot for the nomination. Many have speculated that she's truly running for vice president. Whatever the case, she has to prove that she's a credible, serious, informed leader, and not one of the self-promoters who've plagued GOP primaries recently.

Her response: Fiorina gave a strong speech that was enthusiastically received by the crowd. She focused on burnishing her foreign credentials, arguing that "I know Bibi Netanyahu," and "I know King Abdullah of Jordan," as a way to critique the Obama Administration's policies in the Middle East. She also repeatedly attacked Hillary Clinton, telling her to "please, name an accomplishment," and arguing that traveling the world doesn't count as one. Essentially, Fiorina was arguing that a long political resume doesn't necessarily mean a candidate is qualified--and suggesting that her short one shouldn't disqualify her.

Source: Vox.com coverage of 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Feb 27, 2015

Advised CIA on Russian affairs after 2007

So what does Fiorina know about the intelligence community or Russia? Well, supporters note that she's served on several relevant boards, including the first ever External Advisory Board for the Central Intelligence Agency, which was created in 2007 by then-director Michael Hayden.

Fiorina has been talking up her Kremlin bona fides for the last year and referenced her meeting with Vladimir Putin at a 2001 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in China in a well-received speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit last month. "Like Hillary Clinton, I too have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe," Fiorina said in Iowa. "But unlike her, I have actually accomplished something. Mrs. Clinton, flying is not an accomplishment, it's an activity. I have met Vladimir Putin and know that it will take more to halt his ambitions than a gimmicky red 'Reset' button."

Source: TheDailyBeast.com: 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Feb 26, 2015

I've accomplished something by traveling around the world

Carly Fiorina pitted herself against likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at the Iowa Freedom Summit, sparking some of the event's most boisterous applause. With a calm tone and polished delivery, Fiorina introduced herself to Iowans as a business-savvy outsider, the kind capable of creating real change in government. "Like Hillary Clinton, I too have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe," Fiorina said. "But unlike her, I've actually accomplished something."
Source: Des Moines Register on 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit , Jan 24, 2015

Lack of American leadership causes world trouble

Q: What about our current narcissistic policy disorder? It is a messy world. Russia & the Ukraine, the Arab spring-- is it really fair to blame President Obama for much of this?

FIORINA: Yes, it is fair. Because American leadership matters in the world. American strength matters in the world. And it particularly matters when things are going wrong. I think President Obama has made two crucial errors. First, he confuses ending a war with securing the peace. And unfortunately, the way he ended the wars in Iraq and is attempting to end the war in Afghanistan are making both of those situations very, very troublesome. Secondly, he continues to believe that his words matter. And his words matter less and less because both our friends and our allies as well as our enemies have figured out that words do not signal intention. There is no execution behind them. And that creates a situation in which our allies believe they cannot count on us and our enemies believe they can ignore us.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2014 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 20, 2014

No deal with Russia nor Iran on nuclear cooperation

[Under the new UN sanctions], Iran will be allowed to continue arming itself--these sanctions include a loophole that will let Russia move forward with plans to sell Iran one of the world's most sophisticated air defense systems, the S-300. Russia will also be allowed to continue building and delivering fuel to an Iranian nuclear reactor, even as the Obama administration moves toward a deal with Russia on nuclear cooperation that is now pending in Congress. And these sanctions do not target Iran's imports of refined petroleum products or its access to international banking systems and capital markets, and it does not include a ban on dealings with Iran's national air and shipping lines--the real pressure points on the Iranian regime.

Barbara Boxer and this Congress have so far refused to stand up to this administration and get serious about the threat from Iran."

Source: Press release on United Nations Iran Sanctions vote , Jun 9, 2010

Attended grade school in U.S., England, and Africa

I remember moving, for the fifth time since I had entered high school, to a new school as a senior. I missed my friends, who were all in California, and North Carolina seemed like another world.

We moved a lot because my father was working his way up the academic ladder. He taught at the University of Texas, Cornell, Yale, Stanford and Duke and took sabbaticals at the London School of Economics and the University of Ghana in Accra, West Africa. (Eventually he would become a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.) I went to elementary school in New York, Connecticut and California; to junior high in California and England; and to high school in Africa, California and North Carolina. In the course of all this moving around, I learned a lot about people and a lot about change. I was perpetually the new kid in class, and as the new kid, I wanted desperately to fit in, to be liked, to make friends.

Source: Tough Choices, by Carly Fiorina, p. 6 , Sep 25, 2007

In Africa, experienced being only white person in the room

In Africa I experienced being the only white person in the room, and reflected on how the few blacks I knew back home must feel. I felt both anxiety and sympathy when children would surround us and beg for money each time we went to the city markets. I remember hearing, for the first time, Muslims pray, and how over time their sound evolved from being frightening in its strangeness to confronting in its cadence and repetition--I would feel the same peace when I listened to the sound of summer cicadas around my grandmother's house.

My father was teaching the new Ghanaian constitution to law students. Ghana in 1969 was experimenting with democracy after the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah. I listened to great debates at our dinner table when my father's Ghanaian students would visit. I saw how difficult building a nation was when smaller but more powerful tribal loyalties conflicted with the larger but more abstract idea of a nation.

Source: Tough Choices, by Carly Fiorina, p. 7 , Sep 25, 2007

1977: Taught English to Italian businessmen in Bologna

Todd and I were married in June 1977 and immediately left for Italy, where he was studying at the Bologna campus of the John Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies.

We lived in a shoe-box-sized apartment. I loved Italy, loved Italians and loved the whole crazy adventure that was our first year of marriage. I learned to drink coffee, learned to drink wine and learned to make Italian food. Todd was, in very real ways, my teacher. He had lived in Italy before, and I was following him as he pursued his studies and his career. While we were husband and wife, we were not peers.

Todd was studying full-time and we needed money. I didn't have a work permit, but I could work as a private language tutor. So I taught English to Italian businessmen and their families and built up a clientele by word of mouth. At ten dollars an hour, the teaching work supported us.

Source: Tough Choices, by Carly Fiorina, p. 21-2 , Sep 25, 2007

Traveled extensively to learn international opportunities

Leaders who are driving change need credibility. My credibility in talking about our international opportunities required me to really know something about them--through experience, not study. And so I traveled a lot.
Source: Tough Choices, by Carly Fiorina, p. 93 , Sep 25, 2007

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