MCCAIN ON NATIONAL SECURITY
September 22, 2008
How do Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) differ on national security? The National Journal compared and contrasted the two presidential candidates. Below is a summary of McCain's positions on national security.
- McCain advocates an "Afghan surge" by doubling the size of the Afghan national army, soliciting large NATO contingents, and "sending U.S. troops as they become available" -- but keeping adequate forces in Iraq remains his top priority.
- He pledges to appoint an "Afghanistan czar" to coordinate military and civilian efforts and a special presidential envoy to address Afghan-Pakistan disputes.
- McCain has praised President Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in 1999, as "honest" and "legitimately elected."
- He denounced Obama for openly stating he would conduct unilateral strikes on Al Qaeda targets in Pakistan's territory if its government would not act.
- McCain strongly denounced Vladimir Putin's government for dismantling democracy, even calling for Russia to be expelled from the G-8 group of industrialized democracies.
- He supports the Bush administration's plan to build missile defense sites in Eastern Europe and calls Russian objections an unwarranted interference in NATO affairs.
- He would work with the Russians on new arms control agreements, including a global ban on intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
- McCain supports the eventual abolition of all nuclear weapons.
- He promises increased funding for Cooperative Threat Reduction programs to secure weapons and weapons materials.
- He would work to strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, negotiate a fissile materials cutoff treaty to reduce production of uranium and plutonium and increase the authority and funding of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
- He says he is willing to reconsider his 1999 vote against the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
- He would cancel research on a nuclear "bunker-buster" weapon.
Source: "McCain on National Security," in "Where They Stand," National Journal, August 30, 2008.
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