National Security: Comparing the Candidates

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Romney’s Iran policy was the only one to include indicting Ahmadinejad on charges of advocating genocide. He also said that Israel would be the first country he’d visit. Herman Cain said he’d only support Israeli action against Iran if their plan was “credible,” but that he thought Israel would be “highly unlikely” to have one because Iran has approximately 40 nuclear sites, some of which are in mountains. Ron Paul would not support Israel but said the U.S. should get out of its way. Rick Perry called for sanctioning Iran’s Central Bank, which he said would shut down Iran’s economy, and Gingrich agreed.

There was a difference of opinion over how to handle Syria. Rick Perry is the only one to support an immediate imposition of a no-fly zone, arguing that it is essential to curbing Iran’s ambitions. Ron Paul and Herman Cain opposed it altogether, with the latter saying he’d work with allies in the region. Romney mocked the idea of a no-fly zone, noting that Syria has 5,000 tanks. He supports a policy of regime change through sanctions and covert action, but didn’t rule out the military option. He said the Allawite minority has to be reassured that they don’t need to fight by the side of Bashar Assad and supports working with the military defectors fighting the regime, referring to the Free Syria Army.

Defense spending cuts brought out another disagreement. Romney opposes any cuts. Gingrich said defense spending should be on the table because there are ways the Pentagon can operate more cheaply. He mentioned that it takes 10-15 years to develop a new weapons system, but Apple puts out new technology every 9 months. Jon Huntsman said cuts should be considered and Ron Paul mocked the notion that defense cuts are being planned, arguing that the “cuts”  are really just a decreased growth in spending.

The best question of the night came from Marc Thiessen, who asked the candidates which national security issue they are most concerned about that hasn’t been discussed. Herman Cain was the first to pick cyber warfare. Newt Gingrich said it was the threat of an EMP attack and cyber warfare. Rick Santorum said it was the alliance of radical socialists and Islamists in Latin America, which Romney agreed with. Ron Paul chose overreaction to threats.

Rick Perry said “Communist China,” which he predicted would enter the “ash heap of history”  as the Soviet Union did. Bachmann mentioned the premature withdrawal from Iraq and al-Shabbab’s recruiting of Americans, including in her state. Huntsman said China but that it has “trouble ahead.”

National security isn’t a major issue in the campaign, as the economy, deficit and health care dominate the minds of voters. However, this could change at any moment and no one can foresee what will happen after 2012. This debate reminded America that it is choosing a Commander-in-Chief.

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  • fyi2day

    Thanks for pointing out some of the looming contradictions and real issues that face us in choosing the direction the country will go from here in regards to national security.

    We must choose. Do we want to run the government or will the government run us as it has increasingly with each new administration regardless of party? Today we have 8 candidates (including the incumbent) running for the good of the establishment and one running for good of the people.

    Gingrich, Romney and the Neocons are fundamentally wrong on the Patriot Act and the police state they advocate. By sacrificing our ideals and our Constitution we lose any moral authority in the world we thought we had. You can no more completely protect this country from all future risks than you can protect your children from the World every minute of the day, every day of their lives, with out making them unfit to live in it when you are gone…

    • The Don

      So what your saying is ignore it and it will go away? If you think that those extremists are gonna say "ok they don't care we will leave them alone" you got another thing coming because it is their plan to force people to "believe" what they do or they will kill us there is nothing peaceful about them and they don't do it because we are there and if you think we are there for something other then to stop the things they do to their own people you are more lost then any of those people on that stage except good OLD Ron Paul

      • LibertyIL

        Isreal can handle this on their own. Its time to leave the nest and fend for yourselves.

        • http://visionsandprinciples.blogspot.com/ InRussetShadows

          Right. Because we don't have any similarity with Israel, we have no history with them, and we have no common objectives or values. Uhm, do you treat your friends like this? Or are you against all foreign aid? Or are you only against foreign aid to Israel because you are anti-semetic?

      • http://www.wakeup.com Rob

        You think they hate us because we are "free" and "prosporus" and able to drink beer? Research the CIA's findings. Research Michael Scheuer who was the Head of the Binladen unit. He and plenty others say differently. They also say Isreal plays no important role as an ally and that it is not worth 1 USD or 1 drop of US blood. But hey, keep listening to the darn news. Follow the same war propaganda that is so prevelent in American history. The facts are you're 17k times more likley to be killed of heart desease than terrorism, 400 times more likley to die from a slip and fall than terrorism, and 6 times more likley to be killed of hot freakin weather than terrorism. Wake up and smell the stinkin coffee will ya? Stop playing into the propaganda. Ask yourself…who sold these countries all these tanks/rpg's…oh thats right, the same companies that sells them to the US. If you really want to stop war stop the people arming these low life. Now what do we have? Wait a sec…A Radical Islamic rigiem in Lybia? Yeah that's about right…all our fault too. Please proceed to throw some cold water on your face and look at everything/question everything.

        • http://visionsandprinciples.blogspot.com/ InRussetShadows

          Asymmetrical warfare means that you can't rely upon your "chance of" argument, because nobody knows, really, what the chances are. You don't know. You're simply spouting some propaganda that sounds good, which was calculated by someone who looked at history and then made a mindless prognostication based upon it.

          Second of all, they hate us because they were taught to hate us. That is, their hate stems from Islamic indoctrination. I noticed you never mentioned Islam. Is that because you don't understand Islamic theology? Is that because you don't know how the enemy thinks? Is that because you're too lazy to even factor that in? Or are you so foolish to believe that Islam plays no part in shaping the thoughts of the majority of the Middle East? Any way you slice it, you look very foolish.

          Third, to have an effective defense means that you have a constantly active defense. If you wait until they strike, it will be too late. You might end up spending money in vain, but not all of us are willing to accept the consequences — thousands or millions of dead Americans — like you are. What that says about your compassion and your concern for your fellow countrymen, I leave to your conscience.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      There is a third way. Indeed, it is the 800 pound gorilla in the room, but nonetheless it is the issue always avoided like the plague. The solution is easy, outlaw Islam and ban and reverse mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage, as zero jihadists living in America will translate into zero violent jihadist attacks. Thus, we could scrap the very intrusive Patriot Act and roll back the massive expansion in the size, scope, and power of the federal government that occurred thanks to the creation of the humongous Department of Homeland Security, the extremely intrusive TSA, and the gargantuan National Intelligence Directorate. All of which, by the way, far from making the homeland safer, actually only create a false sense of security so that we can continue accommodating mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage. Thus, not only would the homeland be rendered far safer than what it is today, but at the same time we could also get our financial house back in order in one fell swoop.

    • http://visionsandprinciples.blogspot.com/ InRussetShadows

      None of them are advocating a police state, not even Gingrich.
      No-one is arguing that they can completely protect the country.

      Time to put away your straw men and learn how to debate.

      • fyi2day

        All the establishment candidates including the president are advocating a police state. Please take the time and see the below links to investigations that support my assertions.
        These actions are a greater threat to American liberty and freedom than terrorism could ever be.
        http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-amehttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/topsecret

        This massive infrastructure is a greater threat to American liberty than terrorism.
        Make no mistake this is a fight for your very freedom and the fate of American liberty. The Government has too much, does too much, and in our high tech world now, knows far too much about the lives of private citizens and we are paying for it all… This can not stand it is not necessary and the temptation for corruption is far too great.
        VOTE Ron Paul and ask him to de-fund all of this.

  • John_Kelly

    The least of these GOP candidates would excel in dealing with National Security when compared with President Obama.

    The fundamental difference is these candidates actually love America while Obama's history and track record demonstrate that he loathes & despises this nation.

    Obama like all other "empty suits" shows that "talk is cheap …….because supply exceeds demand" so ignore his narcissistic rhetoric and simply look at his actions.

    What a dangerous time we live in when the National Security is entrusted to "The Three Stooges", Larry Obama, Moe Napolitano & Curly Joe Panetta.

  • guest

    go, Newt!

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Go Newt "Amnesty/Dream Act" Gingrich!

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Newt “Amnesty/Dream Act” Gingrich replied, “Timothy McVeigh succeeded,” paused and continued, “That’s the whole point.”

    “I don’t want a law that says after we lose a major American city, we sure are going to find you. I want a law that says if you try to take out an American city, we’re going to stop you,” he said.

    I agree. However, if we outlawed Islam and banned and reversed mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage, not only would it be impossible for jihadists to smuggle in nukes, since zero jihadists living in America would translate into zero violent jihad attacks, but we could also scrap the very intrusive Patriot Act and seriously roll back the massive expansion in the size, scope, and power of the federal government that took place under the Bush administration via the creation of the humongous Department of Homeland Security, the extremely intrusive TSA, and the gargantuan National Intelligence Directorate and at the same time get our financial house back in order and under control.

    In fact, today we are facing draconian national defense cuts that would not only hollow out our military but also would swing the door wide open for the forces of totalitarianism to dominate the world, and we are facing these draconian military cuts exactly so we can continue accommodating mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage. However, you won't hear that from politicians and you definitely won't hear it from the so-called MSM.

    Indeed, once the size, scope, and power of the federal government is expanded it is almost impossible for it to be roll back. Thus, outlawing Islam and banning and reversing mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage for national security reasons is not even on the table since too many unnecessary federal government jobs would be loss, as the American people are simply getting played and manipulated as always.

    • Frank

      The idea of smuggling a nuke is absurd. There are no suite case bombs. Fissionabes are very heavy. To make a bomb small enough to fit in an artillery shell requires some rare elements way down on the periodic table that have half lives short enough to require the weapons to be rebuilt every few years. The shilding of such elements is very heavy. The radiation from such devices would make the transport of an unshilded divice a suicide mission. (Yes I know they do that with conventional weapons but their hair and skin falling off might tip of even the TSA not to mention set of radiation detectors.)

      • ObamaYoMoma

        The idea of smuggling a nuke is absurd. There are no suite case bombs. Fissionabes are very heavy. To make a bomb small enough to fit in an artillery shell requires some rare elements way down on the periodic table that have half lives short enough to require the weapons to be rebuilt every few years. The shilding of such elements is very heavy. The radiation from such devices would make the transport of an unshilded divice a suicide mission. (Yes I know they do that with conventional weapons but their hair and skin falling off might tip of even the TSA not to mention set of radiation detectors.)

        Wow…I didn't offer an opinion on sneaking in a nuclear device, but nevertheless if a nuclear device is smuggled into the USA, it certainly won't be smuggled in through where the TSA is doing inspections. It probably would be smuggled in from our southern border. As a matter of fact, despite what you naively and stupidly assert, Islamic suicide/homicide bombers that like all Muslims are inculcated cradle to grave to love death more than they love life are hardly worried about radiation poisoning, instead they are eager to receive a one way trip to Allah's version of carnal paradise, as we saw at the height of the Iraq insurgency where thousands flocked to Iraq from around the Islamic world to die in martyrdom operations. Not to mention that there are millions of Muslim non-violent stealth and deceptive jihadists already conveniently living in a America as fifth columnist that are more than willing to provide aid and support, as they did with respect to the 9/11 jihad attackers. In addition, I wouldn't assume that a device would be smuggled in all at one time, It would probably come in pieces and then be assemble just prior to detonation. Indeed, if thousands of tons of drugs can be smuggled in today undetected, then nuclear devices could also be smuggled in pieces undetected as well.

        In any event, the solution is simple. Instead of using the threat of nuclear detonations to create a crisis like GWB did to justify a massive expansion in the size, scope, and power of the federal government like a Dhimmicrat on steroids, as growing government is never the solution for anything much less protecting the homeland, seal off the borders and simultaneously outlaw Islam and ban and reverse mass Muslim immigration with its excess baggage. As zero Muslims living in America as a convenient fifth column would equal zero chance of violent jihad attacks.

        In addition, if we sealed off the borders and outlawed Islam and ban and reversed mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage, we could also roll back the intrusive Patriot Act, the humongous Department of Homeland Security, the extremely intrusive and personally invasive TSA, and the gargantuan National Intelligence Directorate, all of which are totally useless boondoggles in any event that do nothing more than create a false sense of security, and use the savings instead to get our financial house back in order before we go bankrupt. Indeed, had the GWB administration did the above instead of doubling the size, scope, and power of the federal government like a Dhimmicrat on steroids, all those innocent Americans killed by jihadists inside America since 9/11 would still be alive and well today.

        In fact, GWB wasn't interested in protecting the homeland. He was interested in creating a false sense of security so that we could continue accommodating mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage. As a matter of fact, mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage actually increased post 9/11.

        http://www.hermes-press.com/bush_kiss.jpg

  • mrbean

    I actually agree with many of Ron Paul’s positions, outside of his suicidal national security perspective and crackpot conspiracy theories. But I can not agree with the campaign tactics of using leftist money and votes to hijack the Republican nomination and I’m shocked that any Republican would. Ron Paul sometimes comes across like a “A Complete Nutcase Conspiratorialist Quasi-Anti-Semitic Leftwing American-Hating Nutball.”

    • http://www.wakeup.com Rob

      That's because you only read about him in the news..or so it sounds. He isn't asking for the left's votes. Many people on the left are upset with their messiah(obama) and feel Paul's views are for them than the rest of the GOP. Hey wouldn't that mean he would be able to work with congress if elected(rhetoricle) Also what is so wrong with his proposals? He isn't against war…just against undeclared war. If we need military action how hard is it to consult congress? If congress doesn't agree…look no 10 year wars and $4trill wasted dollars. It sounds to me that my fellow americans are the ones who are going nutz. Willing to throw out our bill of rights in which our forfathers died for, only to throw them out to save us from some tent warshiping cave living 3rd world monkeys. Wake up…it isn't worth it. If you want to prevent terrorism be vigilant. Don't expect the govt to take care of us because they don't. Look at 911…they had plenty of time to intercept at least 1 of those planes but they let it happen. And now look we are in never ending wars with no objective.

      • LibertyIL

        Well put, Rob. But can you tone down the common sense please, we don’t want it to rub off on the war mongerers.

      • mrbean

        I said I agree with some of his positions which are many, but this man is out to lunch on his 9-11 crackpot conspiracy nor his subtle ant–semitism. To put it bluntly, this patriotic fruitcake in the oval office would be a greater disaster than even the Prince of Fools, Obama.

      • http://visionsandprinciples.blogspot.com/ InRussetShadows

        No-one is throwing out the Bill of Rights. So you are only in favor of 9-year wars and wars costing less than $4 trillion? Do you realize how asylum-ready you sound?

        P.s. Please learn to spell.

      • umustbkidding

        He is the ONLY one that has his eye on the constitution. AND he is definitely not part of the machine.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    He said he was “prepared to take the heat” for a “humane” policy and that the political party that promotes family values shouldn’t split up the families of illegal immigrants.

    This Newt “Amnesty/Dream Act” Gingrich position indicates two things: First, anyone that disagrees with him is a heartless bastard, even though these illegal immigrants broke American law and cut in front of millions of people that wanted to immigrate legally. Second, that Newt “Amnesty/Dream Act” Gingrich is not really serious about ending illegal immigration, which is why he is supporting continuing the magnets that attracted them here in the first place.

    Santorum criticized Huntsman, saying he was fulfilling the predictions of radical Islamic leaders.

    There is no such thing as radical Islamic leaders, as that is a false political correct myth. Perhaps there is in the minds of Santorum and the unhinged mind of this writer, but nevertheless not in reality. In fact, those so-called radical Islamic leaders or really MAINSTREAM ORTHODOX ISLAM leaders.

    Bachmann said that Pakistan is “too nuclear to fail and a complete cut-off in assistance could result in loose nukes.

    The reality is Pakistan exactly like all Islamic countries is our eternal enemy and as such should never have ever received a penny of foreign aid from the USA to begin with. Thus, if the biggest threat emanating from Pakistan is its nuclear weapons arsenal, which has been tremendously expanded in the past 10 years thanks to the Saudis, then the solution is not to pay jizya, as Bachman is naively proposing, the solution instead is to eliminate the threat.

    Indeed, it doesn't matter how much jizya we pay to Pakistan, as soon as Iran announces it has acquired nukes, those nuclear weapons stockpiled in Pakistan will soon find their way into the military arsenals of numerous Sunni Islamic countries, as Pakistan's nuclear weapons arsenal was intentionally expanded in anticipation of the NPT being rendered worthless by Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons and will soon inevitably become Pakistan's biggest export item and new source of revenue.

    Thus, the Islamic world with its imperative to make Islam supreme will not only become armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons, but will inevitably become far more belligerent and aggressive as a direct result.

    She also mentioned that China would replace U.S. influence in Pakistan.

    Who cares if we eliminate Pakistan's nuclear weapons stockpiles and nuclear weapons program?

    Anyway, per the debates it couldn't be any clearer that the Republican candidates are still blinded by PC multiculturalism and totally oblivious with respect to the actual threat that is emanating from Islam, which is very disappointing to say the least.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The blind leading the blind is what it boils down to if the real threats of leftist
    subversion and Islamist inroads into our culture are ignored and glossed over.
    Europe is being destroyed by both Leftist/Islamist factors and there is no denying
    this. Why would American politicians follow their lead unless they are paid off
    and we are sold out. Where is the Candidate who will state emphatically that if
    you Attack America or threaten America you will be eliminated. Those who are
    changing our Nation into a welfare state with and opressive government need
    to understand their days may be coming to and end, the sooner the better for
    all of us…………………………………………………………………….William

    • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

      The blind leading the blind – mainly caring to not touch the "taboo" about what is really the greatest threat of the national security: Islam and the illegal resident of the White House – an agent of influence, identity thief and fraud.

      We are damned to have these candidates as the "best alternatives" available….

  • hammar

    The Best National Security Act would be to dump obama!
    Which would also free our national resources which have
    been stolen from us under the false pretense of environmental protection.

  • Asher

    All the politicians, the left and the right have failed us on the Amnesty and borders issues. We the people who are legal, pay taxes, and have been citizens of this great land, deserve to be treated Humanely. It is about time our elected officials take Care of Their Own. Solylndra and MF Global bailouts, Healthcare, free drivers licenses, cell phones, education, and diapers are not part of what the Taxpayers are responsible for. The Amnesty issue is a Huge National Security Issue, because there is no way to know how long the people have been here, (what year they came, who they are, or from what country they came, there could be terrorists and drug dealers among them.) No… Come here legally, or not at all…No Excuses from the Politicians who are self-serving and want to be assured of votes at the expense of our rights.

  • Asher

    And Might I add that we are over 9% unemployment. There aren't enough jobs for legal Americans, let alone Illegals coming into our country, I seriously doubt that many of them even speak English, let alone have jobs, pay taxes, or have a church that believes in Christ and his principles….Christ never advocated stealing from some to give to others…Another big lie that the left wants you to believe to make you feel guilty.

  • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

    The blind leading the blind – as William James Ward properly put it.

    The blind leading the blind – mainly caring to not touch the "taboo" about what is really the greatest threat of the national security: Islam and the illegal resident of the White House – an agent of influence, identity thief and fraud.

    We are damned to have these candidates as the "best alternatives" available….

    • http://visionsandprinciples.blogspot.com/ InRussetShadows

      I have some advice. Since we are cast forever into flames, as you said, then there is no hope. If there is no hope, drive your car off the nearest bridge.

  • Asher

    Ask John Bolton, Robert Spencer, or Walid Phares about the Middle East's nuclear weapons..It is getting late in the game when there may not be a way to stop Iran, Pakistan, or N. Korea from using Nuclear weapons on the World…Yes voting has consequences and Mr. Obama has not done enough to stop Iran who is Nuclear Nightmare Number 1. This earth's days are number because of voting for the wrong people!