Saturday, January 09, 2016

John Kasich at the Council on Foreign Relations; Podcast of the Week (1/3/2016 - 1/9/2016)

Ohio Governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich gave his views on foreign policy to CFR and I thought it was decent. You can watch, listen, or read the transcript. He admits he could never imagine living in another country, but talks very knowledgeably about foreign policy; having served many years on the Senate Armed Forces Committee and generally just seems interested (he mentions he has friends in Ohio who just opened a business in Turkey, I like that.) This is a favorite bit in response to a question about Turkey and Israel, context is the Russian violation of Turkish airspace. Emphasis is mine:

I think the economics of Turkey may be a way to be able to get there. We’re going to have to deal with Turkey when it comes to a long-term resolution of the Kurdish issue. You know—as you all know, the Turks live in total fear of an independent Kurdistan. But the reality is that the Kurds are going to have to have someplace, maybe a confederation. I don’t know. But we have to think about it. And we’re going to have to work with Erdogan. And frankly, we’re going to have to spend a lot of time with him and understand what we can do to move them our way. I think it’s vital.
Now, there was, you know, a long history of Turkish and Israeli good, positive relationships. I don’t think one precludes the other, and I don’t think—I think we need to work on this. I think public diplomacy has been at an all-time low. And I kind of believe around the world not only should we have a military presence—and General Jones, a former commander of NATO and former head of the Marine Corps, has said that, look, we need military. We need diplomatic. And let me tell you—you’re an investor from Texas—we need to—we need to have our business friends and partners around the world having something to say also.
You know, I know somebody that runs a major oil company that I think knows more about Putin than the entire State Department. So we need to be able to listen to—and we understand they have a bias. They have a self—we know that. But they’re also Americans, and they have a lot to say. So public diplomacy—I just have friends in Columbus, Ohio who actually have opened a company in Turkey; be interesting to hear what they have to say. But we don’t want to lose the Turks. We want to bring them towards the West, in my opinion. And I would work aggressively to try to do that.

I've heard Chris Christie and Hillary Clinton speak at CFR, didn't do as good at job, in my opinion. (Rubio spoke a while back, I'm not sure I listened to it; will need to dig it up.)

I wish Kasich were young and handsome so he'd be somewhere further up in polls.

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