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Cain Rips Obama's "Dumb" Foreign Policy

Herman Cain on Uganda, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and sharia.

4:58 PM, Oct 15, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Following a rally in Tennessee this afternoon, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain criticized what he called some "dumb" foreign policy moves that President Obama has made in recent months. 

Herman Cain

“I think that the way he handled the surge [in Afghanistan] was not the right way to do it," Cain said during a phone interview with THE WEEKLY STANDARD. "First of all, it took him too long to give the order to do the surge in Afghanistan. When they finally did the surge, and the commanders on the ground were able to start making some progress with these additional resources, then he goes back about a year later and desurged the surge. First of all, I would have asked the commanders on the ground, 'When do you think we need to do this?' Because if he did, he didn’t listen because both Admiral Mullen and General Petraeus were surprised when he went public with his decision. That says that he didn’t listen to his commanders.”

"I would not have told the enemy what we were going to do," Cain continued. "That is ill-conceived. That does not make good common sense."

Cain said Obama is "doing the same thing in Iraq."

"We’ve got 43,000 people still left over there," he said. "The Iraqis are making good progress with the help of those 43,000. So what does he do? He goes off and says we’re going to by the end of the year pull out 40,000 troops. I’m sorry if this is not politically correct, but that is a dumb thing to do.”

“Iran has already told its terrorists over there stop fighting the American soldiers, just wait until the end of the year," Cain continued. "This makes no sense to telegraph what it is that you’re doing. They are sitting back, waiting for the 40,000 troops to leave and then they’re going to overrun their country and try to take it back in a sectarian manner. You don’t need foreign policy experience to know that doesn’t make good common sense.”

Regarding President Obama's announcement that he has sent 100 U.S. combat troops to Uganda to help the Ugandan military fight a terrorist organization known as the Lord's Resistance Army, Cain said: “First, if these are special forces, okay, don’t tell anybody. That’s dumb. With 100 people, a hundred soldiers, that is a drop in the bucket. If they’re not special forces, a hundred soldiers isn’t going to make a difference. I’m trying to imagine a rationale for 100 troops and the rationale for telling anybody. It doesn’t make any sense is what I’m saying. Maybe he has some information that the rest of us don’t have. I hope so.”

Cain said he would need more information to know how to respond to the Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in the United States. “I would have to assemble my national security advisers, the intelligence community before I could decide what it is that we should do," Cain said. "I believe that Iran’s fingerprints are all over this. I would want to reconfirm that looking at all the available information, all the available intelligence. And then I would pose the question to my advisers: One do you consider this an act of war? And the answer’s yes. Number two what do you think we should do? What are the options? I’d consider those options based on the input … I can’t tell you what I would do… There’s a lot more information that I don’t have to make that decision that I would need.”

Who's advising Cain on foreign policy? “I’m not at liberty to tell you who those are right now," he replied. "I have been working informally with some well respected foreign policy people, some well respected national security people to help improve my working knowledge of some of the issues that I’m going to have to face. But because of their current affiliations I can’t throw them under the bus and say who they are.”

Asked for writers who influence or inform his thinking on foreign policy issues, Cain mentioned two conservative columnists who don't always see eye to eye: George Will and Charles Krauthammer. “I am a fan of George Will. He is one of the most thoughtful writers out there on a variety of subjects," Cain said. "I'm also a big fan of the writings of Charles Krauthammer, even though he ticked me off when he said my campaign was my campaign was entertainment. I’m not going to hold that against him because other than that one mistake he’s generally been very thoughtful.”

“I also enjoy reading the writing of Brent Bozell," Cain continued. "Why? Because his company, his organization, they track the bias in the media.”

Cain was in the spotlight earlier this year for his comments on Muslims and sharia law. Asked how serious of a threat he thinks the imposition of sharia in America is, Cain said: “I think that the threat of sharia law is more of a long-term threat. This is what they did in Europe. Little by little by little by little. All I was trying to do was raise the flag. There are peaceful Muslims in this country and then there are extremists. I’m not going to be so blind and naïve as to try to be politically correct and allow extremists into my administration and to allow them to get sharia law into our courts.”

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