Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Great Debate Debate, Con't

Last night's Democratic candidate debate turned into a referendum on foreign policy in the wake of Friday's attacks in Paris, and all three candidates had similar views on using the military against ISIS.

Clinton said the fight against ISIS cannot be just an American one, and that U.S. leadership is essential in the coalition. She said she agrees with Obama supporting those who take the fight to ISIS.

"We have to look at ISIS as the leading threat of an international terror network," she later said on Saturday. "It cannot be detained, it must be defeated."

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont has previously said ISIS poses a real threat, and that he fully supports the notion that the group needs to be stopped. Sanders believes the U.S. can't lead the effort to defeat ISIS on its own, and that a coalition with countries in the Middle East leading the effort is the best way to combat the group.

In his opening remarks at the debate on Saturday night, Sanders called ISIS a "barbarous organizaion."

"This is a war for the soul of Islam," he said. "Those Muslim countries are going to have to lead the effort, which they are not doing now."

Clinton disagreed with Sanders, commending Jordan's efforts in combating ISIS. She said she agrees that Turkey and other Gulf nations need to be clear about where they stand.

Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley said on stage on Saturday that "ISIS is an evil in this world." The U.S. has a role in the fight against ISIS, he added, but the country must work collaboratively with other countries.

"We must anticipate these threats before they happen," he said during his opening remarks, alluding to the Paris attacks. "We have a lot of work to do to better prepare our nation."

"Our role in the world is not roaming the world to look for new dictators to topple," he later said. "But our role in the world is to confront evil when it arises."

So it doesn't look like any of the Democrats would have too much of a different take on dealing with ISIS than President Obama has right now: coalition partners with Muslim states to fight ISIS with US resources and air power and special operations troops to advise on the ground.

However, if you think there's little difference between where the Democrats are now and where Republicans want to go with using Paris as an excuse for all out war, please think again.

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