Sanders:Prepared to Use Military Force 08/30 12:44
WASHINGTON (AP) -- International rivals would be mistaken to assume he
wouldn't be prepared to use military force if that's what circumstances
required, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said in an interview
that aired on Sunday.
The Vermont senator says the United States should have the strongest
military in the world. The U.S. should be prepared to act when it or its allies
are threatened or in response to genocide.
"Yes, there are times when you have to use force. No question about it,"
Sanders said. "But that should be a last resort."
During his nearly 25 years in Congress, Sanders' record on authorizing
military force is mixed. He voted to send troops to Afghanistan after the Sept.
11 terrorist attacks. But he voted against going to war with Iraq in 1991 and
again in 2003.
Sanders comments came during an interview that aired on ABC's "This Week."
His campaign has focused on the economy and gained momentum. His chief rival
for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Rodham Clinton, served as secretary of
state for about four years. Sanders was asked why national security and foreign
policy are missing from his campaign's website.
"In all fairness, we've only been in this race for three-and-a-half months.
And we've been focusing, quite correctly as you've indicated, on the economy,
on the collapse of the American middle class, on massive income and wealth
inequality," Sanders said.
Sanders cited the war in Iraq as one of the "worst foreign policy blunders
we have ever seen" because it led to an enormous destabilization of that
region. He also said he believes his vote against the first Gulf War was
"I think we could've gotten Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in a way that did
not require a war," Sanders said. "... Do we need to go to war in every
instance or can we bring pressure of sanctions and international pressure to
resolve these conflicts?"
Sanders is among of the 31 senators who supports the Iran nuclear deal
negotiated by President Barack Obama's administration and other countries.