November 9th, 2011
10:45 AM ET

Lindsay: Bachmann on Iran and more

Editor's Note: Dr. James M. Lindsay is a Senior Vice President at the Council on Foreign Relations and co-author of America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy. Visit his blog here and follow him on Twitter

By James M. Lindsay

Michele Bachmann gave The Street a video interview on foreign policy. She says that her ultimate foreign policy goal is “to see peace in the world.”  Her strategy for achieving that end is a “peace through strength policy.” She criticized the New Start Treaty, called Iran a “third-world basket case,” and speculated that Tehran would share its nuclear weapons technology with nations like Sudan and “state sponsors of terror.” Bachmann also condemned President Obama’s decision to send U.S. troops to central Africa:

We don’t know where that will go…Once we get involved in a foreign entanglement, if there’s anything we’ve learned in the last twelve years it’s that it’s very difficult to extricate once we get involved.

Bachmann plans to give a major foreign policy speech this Thursday on board the USS Yorktown, which is anchored in Charleston, South Carolina. (The Yorktown, which is named after one of the most significant battles in American history, is a decommissioned ship, so no federal laws about political speeches on federal property are being violated.)

The latest IAEA report on the Iranian nuclear weapons program has put Iran back in the news. As the New York Times reports, the GOP candidates—with the notable exception of Ron Paul—are taking a hard line on the issue. The candidates don’t necessarily have any better ideas for dealing with Tehran than the White House does, but as the Times notes, “projecting toughness on Iran may offer one of the few political openings on foreign policy that Republicans can use to attack President Obama.”

Rick Perry got a pat on the back he might not want. In an interview with USA Today, former president Bill Clinton said it’s “crazy” that Republican candidates are attacking Perry for “one of the best things he did”—support a Texas law granting in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants.

Gallup’s latest poll shows Herman Cain even with Mitt Romney; both men have 21 percent support from Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

Although the CNN-AEI-Heritage Foundation national security debate has been pushed back to November 22, CBS and the National Journal are going ahead with their foreign policy debate scheduled for this Saturday, November 12 at 8 pm. The National Journal asked its National Security Insiders, a pool of defense and foreign policy experts, to suggest some questions to ask, and it has kindly posted some of them. We’ll see if any of the questions get asked—or more importantly, answered.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of Jim Lindsay.

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Topics: 2012 Election • Foreign Policy

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. PmCDonald

    Who is coaching Bachmann on foreign policy? It would be good to know who is coaching each of them to give an idea of what the policies might be. We know Karl Rove is pulling Perry's strings. Who is working Bachmann? Where is John Bolton hanging out? I always feel he adds a certain blind nationalism to foreign policy discussions.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:00 am | Reply
    • John Walsh

      Karl and Perry are not on talking terms. For Karl it is Romney all the way.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  2. Onesmallvoice

    What a surprise! Michele Bachmann said something right for a change. I agree wholeheartedly that Obama has no business sending troops in to Africa any more than to the Middle East and Central Asia. As long as these useless politicians get us into these needless wars overseas, this country will continue to suffer since we can no longer afford this senselessness!!!

    November 9, 2011 at 11:40 am | Reply
  3. John Walsh

    That Michele Bachman believes that Iran would share nuclear weapons technology with Somalia is indicative of the lunacy of her candidacy for the highest office of the land.It is but another inane statement from a delusional individual
    who for a while anyway captured the interest of the Iowa GOPand was victorious in their straw pole. Why in the name of the almighty she claims to serve would a Shiite Muslim country share the ultimate destructive weapon with a radical Sunni nation? It would be like Hitler giving Stalin the bomb.Hopefully she is material for SaturdayNight Live.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  4. MichaelMRW

    Michelle is a nice sincere and relative smart person. But she is intellectually simplistic and misinformed on International issues.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  5. james davidson

    Whenever I see the name of Michelle Bachman in an article, I hasten to read it, particularly when I want a good laugh

    November 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  6. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    Just think. When the republicans regain power, they will start a war with Iran (totally unfunded of course). Then we can draft all the Poor people to fight (die) in the war (just like republicans want) and we can give "no bid" contracts to the rich people. Killing two birds with one stone!! We can use Iran's oil to pay for the war. And when the war is over, Iran will sell us cheap oil!! Just like Iraq!!!!.........Oh wait......Never mind.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  7. SarahPalin

    Put the camera back on meeeeeeee. It's all about meeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! I was the first dumb GOP bit_h!!!! Why isn't the camera on meeeeeeee!!!

    November 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  8. VikingsAnyone

    Hey Michelle Bachmann!!!! How come us taxpayers need to finance a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium? How come taxes are OK when they benefit the RICH people!!!!!!!!!!!! C_nt!!!!

    November 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  9. j. von hettlingen

    Michelle Bachmann called "Iran a “third-world basket case,” It doesn't sound intelligent at all!

    November 9, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  10. Cisco Southern Cali

    Wow, awesome blog format! How long have you been running a blog for? you made blogging look easy. The whole glance of your web site is magnificent, let alone the content material!

    September 5, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply

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