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Tim Kaine on Foreign Policy

Democratic Senate Challenger; previously Governor

 


Create a humanitarian zone in northern Syria, with UN aid

Q: 250,000 people-100,000 of them children--are under siege in Aleppo, Syria. Does the U.S. have a responsibility to prevent mass casualties on this scale?

PENCE: What America ought to do right now is immediately establish safe zones, so that families and vulnerable families with children can move out of those areas, work with our Arab partners, real time, right now, to make that happen. And if Russia chooses to be involved and continue to be involved in this barbaric attack on civilians in Aleppo, the US should be prepared to use military force to strike military targets of the Assad regime to prevent them from this humanitarian crisis that is taking place in Aleppo.

KAINE: Hillary and I also agree that the establishment of humanitarian zones in northern Syria with the provision of international human aid, consistent with the U.N. Security Council resolution that was passed in February 2014, would be a very, very good idea.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

On Putin: See difference between leadership & dictatorship

PENCE: The provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength.

KAINE: Hillary has the ability to stand up to Russia in a way that this ticket does not. Donald Trump, again and again, has praised Vladimir Putin. And it's clear that he has business dealings with Russian oligarchs who are very connected to Putin. The Trump campaign team had to be fired a month or so ago because of those shadowy connections with pro-Putin forces. Gov. Pence made the odd claim, he said "inarguably Vladimir Putin is a better leader than President Obama." Vladimir Putin has run his economy into the ground. He persecutes LGBT folks and journalists. If you don't know the difference between dictatorship and leadership, then you got to go back to a fifth-grade civics class. I'll tell you what offends me...

PENCE: Well, that offended me!

KAINE: Vladimir Putin is a dictator. He's not a leader. Anybody who thinks otherwise doesn't know Russian history and they don't know Vladimir Putin.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

The "reset with Russia" failed because Putin is a dictator

PENCE: This is the alternative universe of Washington, D.C., versus reality: Hillary Clinton said her number-one priority was a reset with Russia. That reset resulted in the invasion of Ukraine, after they'd infiltrated with what are called little green men, Russian soldiers that were dressing up like Ukrainian dissidents, and then they moved all the way into Crimea, took over the Crimean Peninsula. Donald Trump knew is saying it's not going to happen again. The truth of the matter is that what you have in the rise of aggressive Russia, which has increased its influence in Iran, that's now because of [Obama's nuclear] deal, the leading state sponsor of terror in the world in Iran now has a closer working relationship with Russia because of $150 billion and sanctions all being lifted.

Q: Senator Kaine, what went wrong with the Russia reset?

KAINE: Vladimir Putin is a dictator. He's not a leader. Anybody who thinks otherwise doesn't know Russian history and they don't know Vladimir Putin.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Create a humanitarian zone in northern Syria, with UN aid

Q: 250,000 people-100,000 of them children--are under siege in Aleppo, Syria. Does the U.S. have a responsibility to prevent mass casualties on this scale?

PENCE: What America ought to do right now is immediately establish safe zones, so that families and vulnerable families with children can move out of those areas, work with our Arab partners, real time, right now, to make that happen. And if Russia chooses to be involved and continue to be involved in this barbaric attack on civilians in Aleppo, the US should be prepared to use military force to strike military targets of the Assad regime to prevent them from this humanitarian crisis that is taking place in Aleppo.

KAINE: Hillary and I also agree that the establishment of humanitarian zones in northern Syria with the provision of international human aid, consistent with the U.N. Security Council resolution that was passed in February 2014, would be a very, very good idea.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

On Putin: See difference between leadership & dictatorship

PENCE: The provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength.

KAINE: Hillary has the ability to stand up to Russia in a way that this ticket does not. Donald Trump, again and again, has praised Vladimir Putin. And it's clear that he has business dealings with Russian oligarchs who are very connected to Putin. The Trump campaign team had to be fired a month or so ago because of those shadowy connections with pro-Putin forces. Gov. Pence made the odd claim, he said "inarguably Vladimir Putin is a better leader than President Obama." Vladimir Putin has run his economy into the ground. He persecutes LGBT folks and journalists. If you don't know the difference between dictatorship and leadership, then you got to go back to a fifth-grade civics class. I'll tell you what offends me...

PENCE: Well, that offended me!

KAINE: Vladimir Putin is a dictator. He's not a leader. Anybody who thinks otherwise doesn't know Russian history and they don't know Vladimir Putin.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

The "reset with Russia" failed because Putin is a dictator

PENCE: This is the alternative universe of Washington, D.C., versus reality: Hillary Clinton said her number-one priority was a reset with Russia. That reset resulted in the invasion of Ukraine, after they'd infiltrated with what are called little green men, Russian soldiers that were dressing up like Ukrainian dissidents, and then they moved all the way into Crimea, took over the Crimean Peninsula. Donald Trump knew is saying it's not going to happen again. The truth of the matter is that what you have in the rise of aggressive Russia, which has increased its influence in Iran, that's now because of [Obama's nuclear] deal, the leading state sponsor of terror in the world in Iran now has a closer working relationship with Russia because of $150 billion and sanctions all being lifted.

Q: Senator Kaine, what went wrong with the Russia reset?

KAINE: Vladimir Putin is a dictator. He's not a leader. Anybody who thinks otherwise doesn't know Russian history and they don't know Vladimir Putin.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Maintain relations with Britain & EU to move beyond Brexit

Q: Your views on "Brexit," the British exit vote from the European Union?

DONALD TRUMP: People want to see borders. People want to have independence. And you see it all over Europe. You're going to have many other cases; I think it's happening in the United States.

Q: Do you think he's right that there's a parallel?

SEN. TIM KAINE: There's a couple things you've got to understand. Young voters, those under 50, especially millennials, overwhelmingly voted to stay. And it was older voters who voted to leave. And certainly immigration issues are important and a concern about some of the European regulation, et cetera. It's a huge deal. It really is. And the important thing for us is because the relationship with Britain has been so strong, and we're so close to European nations, we have to help them find a path over the next couple years to do this in a way that can keep ties rather than tear ties apart.

Source: Meet the Press 2016 interviews of Veepstakes candidates , Jun 26, 2016

Truman Doctrine is the last comprehensive US foreign policy

Kaine asserted that the US needs to refer back to Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain speech and the Truman Doctrine. He says the Truman Doctrine, "the last comprehensive foreign policy that the United States has had," has its flaws, designating too much money to defense, which takes away from the money going to education and getting students to college. Kaine followed up his speech by taking a series of student questions.

"Poland has a far right, Putin-style movement, but it's democratic. Should we support all democracies, even ones that are going against what we believe in in terms of dealing with Russia?" Kaine noted, "What if you're in a pure democracy and you're a religious minority, ethnic minority or racial minority, and the majority says `we don't like you?' Democracies are no guarantee that the public will do what we will do, but democracies are preferable to authoritarian nations and so with a nation like Poland."

Source: The Rotunda (Longwood University), by Kiersten Freedman , Apr 8, 2016

U.S. leadership in global economy, without blind endorsement

In 2014, 11.7 million jobs in the US were supported by trade and goods exports, up by 18% since 2009. Meanwhile, workers at firms with global & domestic customers earn more than firms with only domestic customers. Despite this record of success, certain aspects of trade and globalization have not always been helpful to some Virginia industries. As global competition intensifies, many of the textile mills and manufacturing plants Virginia attracted long ago from New England and Michigan have closed or moved to other countries.

Virginia is a global gateway, and that status is important to me as Congress debates whether to give the president the tools to negotiate more trade deals to cement American leadership in a global economy. My support for TPA is not a blind endorsement of any pending trade negotiation. Once we establish our key principles, I will make sure that the specifics of any final deal are placed before the public and fully debated to see if they meet our standards and help Virginia.

Source: Op-Ed by Kaine in Richmond Times-Dispatch , May 16, 2015

It is time to restore freedom to travel to Cuba

Kaine co-sponsored the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act. The bipartisan bill would end restrictions on travel by American citizens and legal residents to Cuba, restrictions that do not exist for travel by Americans to any other country in the world. The bill would also end restrictions on related transactions incident to such travel, such as banking transactions. "Ending the travel ban will encourage the free exchange of ideas and values, including respect for human rights," said Kaine. "It is time."
Source: Kaine's Senate office press release, "Travel to Cuba" , Apr 30, 2015

Long pro-Israel tradition allows for some disagreements

Q: Do you feel partisan distancing among Democrats from Israel?

KAINE: I don't feel a distancing of Democrats from Israel, but I do feel there has been an effort by some in the Republican Party to push Democrats out of the relationship with Israel. Our party has a long tradition of being pro-Israel, and being pro-Israel doesn't mean we agree on everything, but we're friends, we're allies, we're partners and to the extent we have disagreements we try to work them out productively.

Q: Is there room in the Democratic Party for members who are not pro-Israel?

KAINE: Everyone I know in this party is pro-Israel. This doesn't mean we agree on everything. I have very deep concerns about the path that leadership is following with respect to trying to find an actual implementation to what was agreed upon in Oslo in the early 1990s. We've got some disagreements, but I don't know a single senator who is not pro-Israel, Democrat or Republican.

Source: The Forward, "Kaine on Israel," by Nathan Guttman , Mar 13, 2015

Congress censured Obama for troops to Libya without asking

Most recently, President Obama committed US troops into a combat operation in Libya in 2011 as part of a NATO mission and never sought the permission of Congress, and was censured by the House of Representatives. Even members who said, we would have voted yes actually, we liked your rationale. Many still voted against the president to sanction the president for not seeking congressional authorization.
Source: Coursera Lecture #54, "Problems of War Powers" , Jan 29, 2015

If we allow a nuclear Iran, others will follow; but deal ok

We do not want Iran to have nuclear weapons. Iran's nuclear weapons would be of immediate threat to Israel. It's not just about Israel. If Iran gets nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia has said we're going to get nuclear weapons. Turkey hasn't said it quite so clearly. But believe me, they're going to get nuclear weapons. There are other nations that don't have nuclear weapons who will get them if Iran does. You see what I call the illogical logic of nuclear proliferation.

Everybody wants Iran not to have nuclear weapons. We have a diplomatic opening. We release $500 million a month to Iran over 6 months. In exchange, they destroy their 20% enriched uranium cap, all their other enrichment and allow daily inspections If we do our part, and if they do their part, then we will build some trust and we can see whether there's a next step.

Source: Coursera Lecture #58, "UVa student Q&A Part 3" , Jan 29, 2015

Open debate spurred Syria to destroy its chemical weapons

Bashar al Assad used chemical weapons to gas 1,500 civilians. The President said we gotta do something. The President did decide to bring it to Congress. Because that debate took time, Syria and Russia came to the table and said we will destroy our chemical weapons stockpile. In the middle of a civil war, they embarked upon the destruction of one of the largest chemical weapons stockpiles in the world.
Source: Coursera Lecture #58, "UVa student Q&A Part 3" , Jan 29, 2015

Non-state organizations will have an increasing role

The role of non-state actors as a force in what's happening internationally I think will grow larger and larger. And one of the great things that the United States has been part of is building international institutions. You know, first Woodrow Wilson's idea for the never completely functioning League of Nations. But even when the League of Nations was collapsing, FDR said, "well, we gotta have something to replace it." And it was a peculiarly United States driven mission that created the United Nations. And now, international institutions like Oxfam and others, they will have an increasing role, on all aspects of the economy and security nationally. And so public policy will not just be done through elected positions, will not just be done through positions in government. So often be done through international organizations that are, you know, working hopefully for good around the world.
Source: Coursera.org Lecture 59, "Public Policy Challenges Ahead" , Jan 29, 2015

Investments in international development is important to US

Kaine chaired his first subcommittee hearing on international development and the importance of private sector investments and public-private partnerships. Kaine noted that Secretary Kerry, speaking at the University of Virginia, made a compelling case for foreign aid. Throughout the hearing, Kaine emphasized the importance of investments in international development to U.S. national security interests, humanitarian efforts, as well as our nation's economy and American jobs.
Source: Kaine's Senate office press release, "Int'l Development" , May 22, 2013

Strengthen partnerships with Latin America

As a fluent Spanish speaker,Tim has worked to strengthen partnerships with Latin America. In 2015, he and Senator John Cornyn traveled to Mexico, Colombia, and Honduras focused on political, economic, and security issues. In Honduras, Tim returned to El Progreso to visit the technical school where he worked with Jesuit missionaries in 1980.
Source: Virginia 2012 Senate campaign website KaineForVA.com , Feb 29, 2012

Let Israel & Palestine negotiate about status of Jerusalem

Q: Doesn't Obama have an experience problem? Just this week he had to backtrack when he told a pro-Israel group that he supported keeping Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and then had to backtrack from that. Doesn't he have an issue there?

GOV. KAINE: Well, let me just talk about the Jerusalem issue. He says he believes personally that Jerusalem should be undivided. But this is a matter of negotiation that's ongoing between Israel and Palestinian leaders right now. And he says he respects that process. They're negotiating that. They're going to decide what the right framework is. He expressed a personal preference and a belief. The issue of experience is fundamentally about judgment. Senator Obama said in '02 this war would be a big mistake. It's not about whether we win the war; it's about whether we win the right war. We need to win the war against terrorism.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview by Chris Wallace , Jun 8, 2008

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Page last updated: Nov 06, 2016