Rick Perry on Foreign Policy
Republican Governor (TX)
PERRY: Tear up that agreement with Iran. That's the biggest challenge I think that we have in this country and securing that border with Mexico is incredibly important as well, and those two things can happen on the first day.
Perry said he would like to see a two-state solution to tensions between Israel and Palestinians but that he does not think that is realistic now. He has expressed strong support of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
RP: Yes, absolutely. And I would suggest to you, we've been missing a real opportunity to work with India. India could be the absolute most important country for us to have a very strong allied relationship.
HH: And Vietnam and Japan and the Philippines are with us on this flotilla as well, aren't they?
RP: Oh, absolutely. But I'm talking about a big country that has the ability both economically and militarily to weigh in heavily. And I think we've missed opportunity after opportunity with this administration, whether it was being able to sell the Indians the aircraft that they wanted in their inventory, and we didn't. They ended up going to France and buying the Mirage fighters. So the point is in that region, we're going to have to push back. We need to, China is a complex issue.
Perry's remarks took aim at President Obama's decision in January to normalize relations with Havana. The US eased travel and trade restrictions on Cuba as part of the landmark deal.
Perry took issue with Obama's diplomatic priorities. He said the president's decision to deal with Raul Castro, Cuba's dictator, hurts everyday Cubans. "This president missed the point on Cuba's relationship with its people," Perry said. "Cuba has been incredibly onerous to its people" Perry said trading with Castro's Cuba was unlikely to change the communist nation's ways. "I'm not sure you can change the culture of Cuba until Castro is dead and gone," he said.
"Here's the simple truth about our foreign policy: Our allies doubt us and our adversaries are all too willing to test us," he said.
Perry, however, devoted the crux of his appearance to bashing Obama, whose years in office he compared to some of the worst catastrophes to befall the country in recent generations. "This country's been through a lot. We went through a civil war; two world wars; we will survive the Obama years too," he said.
Unlike many Washington-based competitors for the foreign-policy-hawk vote, Perry has not left any fingerprints on the budget plans that are cutting the Army and Marines to their smallest size since 1940. Senator Marco Rubio can credibly say that he opposed the defense cuts all along, but Ted Cruz has championed even bigger spending cuts that would inevitably impinge on defense spending.
Furthermore, Perry can assert distance from the unpopular pieces of the George W. Bush foreign-policy legacy by virtue of his own famously adversarial relationship with Bush and his Texas team.
"To every extremist: We will not allow you to exploit our tolerance, so that you can import your intolerance. We will not let you destroy our peace with your violent ideas. If you expect to live among us, and yet plan against us, to receive the protections and comforts of a free society, while showing none of its virtues or graces, then you can have our answer now: 'No, not on our watch!' You will live by exactly the standards that the rest of us live by. And if that comes as jarring news: Then welcome to civilization."
"The president of Russia, Mr. Putin, may regard treaty obligations as so many words on paper, and just as easily tossed aside. But we operate a little differently in the NATO counties: We actually keep our commitments. That helps explain why, after nearly 70 years, there is still a NATO while the Iron Curtain, Eastern Bloc, and Warsaw Pact all belong to a miserable history we were all glad to put behind us. As before in history, holding to our NATO obligations can mean the difference between threats invited and threats deterred. Worse troubles are always avoided when we stick together as the inseparable allies that we are and offer more than consoling words to friends like Ukraine. Hostile actors need to know that in every circumstance we defend our interests and keep our word."
PERRY: When you have the president and his administration trying to second-guess Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, then I think you see what I'm making reference to: the idea that our best ally in the Middle East, the longest-serving democracy in that part of the world, that there's any air between us and Israel is beyond me. I don't understand why this administration would criticize Israel for trying to protect their citizens and their country from a group who have clearly stated that they will not be satisfied until Israel is wiped off
PERRY: In that part of the world, we have allies there in the form of Israel and Jordan that expect us to stand with them, to help them. When you read his op-ed, he talks about basically, what I consider to be, isolationist policies. America can no longer draw a red line around the shore of America, and think that we're somehow or another not going to be impacted. We must engage and tactically, thoughtfully, use the assets that we have against ISIS to keep these individuals from being able to create an Islamic state.
How can the greatest nation on earth continue to spend its way to astounding debt without the bill ever coming due? How can we explode federal and state budgets with unreformed entitlement programs without the bill ever coming due?
How can we appease a Syrian tyrant, and embolden his Russian ally, without the bill ever coming due? There is a price to be paid for policies that destroy our economy and embolden our foreign enemies.
And I am here today to say we don't have to accept recent history. We just have to change the presidency. It is not too late for America to lead in the world. But it starts by leading at home. And it starts by returning to the founding principles of our democracy found in the Constitution.
According to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, North Korea's threats directed at Austin could just be another form of flattery: "Economically, what has happened in Texas over the course of the last decade has made this city an epicenter for a lot of technology, a lot of economic development," the Republican said in a CBS interview. "And I think the individuals in North Korea understand that Austin, Texas, is now a very important city in America, as do corporate CEOs and other people who are moving here in record numbers."
Perry also noted that rumblings from any country in possession of nuclear weapons should be "treated as a very real threat."
Romney vs. Perry on International Issues
"At the same time, Jong's death is an opportunity to reunify the peninsula if the situation is handled effectively. Kim Jong-un is an unknown quantity, and may not be able to maintain power. The US must now strongly reaffirm our commitment to Asian allies, particularly South Korea, and maintain a strong military, diplomatic, and economic presence in the Pacific region during this period. We should also engage with China, and encourage Beijing to work towards a peaceful transition from a grim dictatorship to a free Korea."
BACHMANN: There are al-Qaeda training grounds there. At the same time, they do share intelligence data with us regarding Al Qaida.
PERRY: The bottom line is that they've showed us time after time that they can't be trusted. And until Pakistan clearly shows that they have America's best interests in mind, I would not send them one penny, period. I think it is important for us to send the message to those across the world that, if you are not going to be an ally of the US, do not expect a dime of our citizens' money to be coming into your country. That is the way we change foreign policy. Now, if we want to engage these countries with our abilities and our companies that go in, rather than just writing a blank check to them, then we can have that conversation. But to write a check to countries that are clearly not representing American interests is nonsensical.
A 2008 paper published by the Council on Foreign Relations, entitled "US-Pakistan Military Cooperation" was clear, calling Pakistan "one of America's most important military alliances." The CFR paper states that our relationship is often strained, such as by Pakistan's detonation of a nuclear weapon in 1998; but Pakistan has been our ally since 1947, and a strong military ally since 9/11. One of Pres. Bush's commanders, Lt. Gen. Carter Ham, called Pakistan "a great partner so far in the war on terror"; another, Adm. Mike Mullen, said "Pakistan and the United States remain steadfast allies, and Pakistan's military is fighting bravely against terrorism."
Clearly Rep. Bachmann was 100% correct and Gov. Perry was 100% mistaken.
PERRY: Well obviously, before you ever get to that point you have to build a relationship in that region. That's one of the things that this administration has not done. Yesterday, we found out that Haqqani--the terrorist group directly associated with the Pakistani country--has been involved with [terrorism. We need] to have a relationship with India, to make sure that India knows that they are an ally of the US. For instance, when we had the opportunity to sell India the upgraded F-16's, we chose not to do that. We did the same with Taiwan. The point is, our allies need to understand clearly that we are their friends, we will be standing by there with them. Today, we don't have those allies in that region that can assist us if that situation that you talked about were to become a reality.
PERRY: I was making a comment about a philosophy; I don't think America needs to be in the business of adventurism.
Q: You were making a philosophical comment, but it's hard to understand philosophy without understanding specifics. Where are some of the places where we've seen military adventurism?
PERRY: That was a philosophical statement that Americans don't want to see their young men and women going into foreign countries without a clear reason that American interests are at stake. And they want to see not only a clear entrance; they want to see a clear exit strategy, as well. We should never put our young men and women's lives at risk when American interests are not clearly defined by the president, and that's one of the problems this president is doing today.