A President Needs Foreign Policy Experience
To say otherwise is just naive
By Senator Lindsey Graham Posted in 2008 — Comments (127) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
The next president of the United States will face some of the most monumental foreign policy challenges in our nation’s history. Because of this, I believe foreign policy experience matters. For Governor Romney to say otherwise is simply naive
Because experience does matter, I encourage you to support John McCain for President.
Our national security challenges include: combating radical Islamic extremism, commanding US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, supporting allies surrounded by hostile regimes, and dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a volatile Pakistan, Putinism in Russia, a rising China with a growing military capability, and … well, you get my point.
Our nation has been blessed to have the right leader at the most crucial times. John McCain is the right leader for our time.
Please read on . . .
For the last decade as a member of the House and now as U.S. Senator from South Carolina, I have had the honor and privilege of working with Senator McCain. We have literally traveled the world together with our colleagues going from one hotspot to the next. These trips are affectionately known as “march or die” tours, because of the schedule that John sets. As a result, I’ve seen first-hand how world leaders receive John with both respect and admiration.
John McCain has been involved in every significant national security issue of the last 20 years. He stood strong in the Reagan revolution when freedom prevailed over communist tyranny. This vast experience has equipped him – uniquely among this year’s presidential candidates – with the knowledge and experience necessary to lead our country through treacherous times. John McCain knows the major policy makers throughout the world and most importantly they know him.
This past July on our return from a tour of Iraq, we stopped to visit the new French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who possesses a refreshing attitude toward our nation and the world. As a candidate, Sarkozy visited John in Washington to receive his counsel on a variety of issues facing our two nations. When we met in July It was evident that Sarkozy very much liked and admired John, and that these two talented men could form a strong alliance between our nations.
Because of John’s concern about the direction Russia has taken under Putin, he constantly visits and talks with the new young leaders emerging from former Soviet satellite states. Whether from the Ukraine, Georgia, Central Europe or the Balkan states; the leaders of these nations know that John McCain is freedom’s friend and ally.
For over twenty years John McCain has led the American Congressional delegation to the International Security Conference held in Munich, Germany. The attendees include foreign ministers, defense ministers and heads of states, from all of the major powers throughout the globe. John’s keynote address, where he discusses his vision of a secure and democratic world, is one of the most widely attended and discussed events.
Whether listening to John McCain discuss the hopes and dreams of the Palestinian people with Prime Minister Abbas or reassuring our Israeli allies of his staunch and unwavering support, I find in John a man uniquely qualified to meet the challenges of our times. The experience he possesses best explains why Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, Lawrence Eagleburger, and Al Haig, four prominent former Secretaries of State, have endorsed John McCain for president. They know John McCain and have confidence that he is the right man to lead our nation in these difficult times.
We need a strong leader. Someone is not afraid to stand up to those who would do us harm and work hand-in-hand with allies who share our love of freedom and liberty. In that regard, it is hard to imagine a more prepared candidate for the job of Commander in Chief than John McCain.
During our numerous visits to Iraq and Afghanistan, I continue to be amazed at how our own troops relate to him. Whether meeting with senior military leaders, sergeants, or privates, John McCain understands the challenges facing our military men and women and speaks their language.
Nowhere is this more evident than John McCain’s tough, principled, and enlightened leadership on the issue of Iraq. For almost four years our nation pursued a failed strategy where progress and ultimate victory slipped from our grasp. Before anyone else, John understood this dynamic and the fact we did not have enough troops on the ground to combat a growing insurgency.
He was a lonely voice for change – at odds with the Bush Administration and under fire from some members of our own party. In spite of the polls and opposition, John called for a surge in troops and a real counterinsurgency strategy.
We now know what Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards sarcastically called the ‘McCain Surge’ has worked. They results are obvious and dramatic in terms of improving the security situation in Iraq. We have a long and difficult struggle ahead, but we are finally on the right course – a change in strategy and direction charted by John McCain.
When he says he would rather lose an election than lose a war, I believe him. He’s already proven it. I believe we need a Commander in Chief who knows his core values and will not waver in the face of the prevailing political winds. Voters should choose a candidate who is prepared by a lifetime of experience to lead this nation from day one when he takes the oath of office.
For the sake of our country, you can make sure that our nation continues to be blessed with the right leadership for our time by ensuring that John McCain wins the New Hampshire primary.