Moral obligation to intervene in Darfur to avoid spillover

Q: What about Darfur? You've called for a UN no-fly zone, but the Chinese and the Russians will probably not go along with it, so it'd be a US or NATO no-fly zone.

A: In a situation like Darfur, I think that the world has a self-interest in ensuring that genocide is not taking place on our watch. Not only because of the moral and ethical implications, but also because chaos in Sudan ends up spilling over into Chad. It ends up spilling over into other parts of Africa, can end up being repositories of terrorist activity. Those are all things that we've got to pay attention to. And if we have enough nations that are willing--particularly African nations, and not just Western nations--that are willing to intercede in an effective, coherent way, then I think that we need to act.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series on Zakaria's GPS Jul 13, 2008


We must be tough with Pakistan & stop coddling Musharraf

OBAMA: If the US has al Qaeda, Bin Laden, top-level lieutenants in our sights, and Pakistan is unable or unwilling to act, then we should take them out. I think that's the right strategy; I think that's the right policy. This is not an easy situation. You've got cross-border attacks against US troops. We've got a choice. We could allow our troops to be on the defensive and absorb those blows again and again, if Pakistan is unwilling to cooperate, or we start making some decisions. And the problem with the strategy that's been pursued was that, for 10 years, we coddled Musharraf, we alienated the Pakistani population, because we were anti-democratic. We had a 20th-century mindset that basically said, "Well, you know, he may be a dictator, but he's our dictator." As a consequence, we lost legitimacy in Pakistan. That's going to change when I'm president.

Source: 2008 first presidential debate, Obama vs. McCain Sep 26, 2008




Nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel

Q: How big a threat is Iran to the US?

A: If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, it is an existential threat to the State of Israel and to other countries in the region. We cannot have a second Holocaust. Let's just make that very clear. I have proposed a League of Democracies, a group of countries that share common interests, common values, common ideals, they also control a lot of the world's economic power. We could impose significant meaningful, painful sanctions on the Iranians that I think could have a beneficial effect.

The Iranians have a lousy government, so therefore their economy is lousy, even though they have significant oil revenues. So I am convinced that together with the French, with the British, with the Germans and other countries, we can affect Iranian behavior.

But have no doubt, but have no doubt that the Iranians continue on the path to the acquisition of a nuclear weapon as we speak tonight. And it is a threat not only in this region but around the world

Source: 2008 first presidential debate, Obama vs. McCain Sep 26, 2008


I'm prepared for the dangerous threats in this world

We have dealt a serious blow to al Qaeda in recent years, but they're not defeated, and they'll strike us again if they can. Iran remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism, and is on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons. Russia's leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power. They invaded a small, democratic neighbor to gain more control over the world's oil supply, intimidate other neighbors, and further their ambitions of reassembling the Russian empire. And the brave people of Georgia need our solidarity and our prayers. As president, I'll work to establish good relations with Russia so that we need not fear a return of the Cold War. But we can't turn a blind eye to aggression and international lawlessness that threatens the peace and stability of the world and the security of the American people. We face many dangerous threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them.

Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention Sep 4, 2008


"Is China a threat to the US?"

“Some Americans see globalization and the rise of economic giants such as China and India as a threat. We should reform our job training and education programs to more effectively help displaced American workers find new jobs that take advantage of trade and innovation. But we should continue to promote free trade, as it is vital to American prosperity."

"An Enduring Peace Built on Freedom: Securing America's Future," Foreign Affairs, Nov./Dec. 2007