Kamala Harris on American Leadership

On the Campaign Trail:

Kamala Harris announces her candidacy.

The foreign policy views of the junior senator from California are unclear in many issues save cybersecurity where the Washington Post says she has “the most substantive record” of any candidate in the race.

[Do you like Kamala Harris? Tell us why in the comments section. Or DM us @jeffersonmorley. We will publish your comments with minimal editing.]

Defense donations only make up 0.1% of all campaign donations

On Israel: Selfie With AIPAC

On the issue of Israel and the influence of AIPAC, Harris seems to want to have it both ways.

Like Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris announced she would not attend the annual AIPAC conference in Washington last month. At the same time she welcomed AIPAC officials to her office and gave them a Twitter selfie.

Israel is a critical ally and friend and its security is a top priority.  I absolutely support a two-state solution because it is the best way to ensure the existence of a Jewish, democratic, and secure Israel. Palestinians should be able to govern themselves in their own state, in peace and dignity, just as Israelis deserve a secure homeland for the Jewish people.
 
While all Americans have an interest in a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the fact remains that peace can only be achieved if the parties themselves come to an agreement. The U.S. can – and should – serve as a constructive partner in the process. Unfortunately, while, in the past, the U.S. has been viewed as an honest broker with a strong desire for peace in the region, Trump’s actions have inflamed tensions in the region, diminished U.S. credibility and influence, and undermined the prospects for peace. As President, I would start by reaffirming the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security and prosperity, while simultaneously working to rebuild the broken relationship between the United States and the Palestinians. Among all of our international partners, the U.S. is uniquely positioned to facilitate negotiations toward peace, but for that to have any chance of success, we have to start by re-engaging in honest, respectful dialog with both sides.

Council on Foreign Relations interview

On Russia: Using ‘America’s Achilles Heel’ Against Us

In both Ukraine and Georgia, Russia has used military force to seize territory and undermine democratically elected governments. Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea is a severe violation of the international norms that have guided the world since World War II – as are Russia’s support for combat operations in eastern Ukraine and its cyber-attacks. Thousands of people have died because of Russia’s aggression, including 298 civilians killed when a Russian missile shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014.
 
As president, I would continue to support Ukraine and ensure the U.S. is unequivocal in affirming Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. I would also prioritize working with the government of Ukraine to build out its military, strengthen its civil society, and combat corruption, while working closely with our European partners on a diplomatic solution. And unlike the current occupant of the White House, I will consistently stand up to Putin in defense of democratic values, human rights, and the international rule of law.

Council on Foreign Relations interview

On North Korea: ‘Not A Photo-Op’

Let me start by saying this: I guarantee you I won’t be exchanging love letters with Kim Jong-un. President Trump has handed Kim one PR victory after the next, all without securing any real concessions, so the next president will have serious work to do.
 
Ultimately, we can’t accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state. But it’s clear that simply demanding complete denuclearization is a recipe for failure; we must work closely with our allies to contain and reverse the short-term threats posed by Pyongyang as we work toward that long-term goal.
 
In any negotiations with North Korea, we must proceed with great skepticism given our past experiences. I would consider targeted sanctions relief to improve the lives of the North Korean people if the regime were to take serious, verifiable steps to roll back its nuclear program. And that relief would have to be immediately reversible were they to renege on their commitments.

Council on Foreign Relations interview

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said that North Korea is “one of the most serious security threats” facing the U.S. and its allies, and that she was not reassured by what she heard from Trump’s team. “This briefing confirmed my deep concerns about this administration’s lack of a comprehensive strategy toward North Korea,” she said.

Full Senate, in rare move, goes to White House grounds for classified North Korea briefing — LA Times

On China and Human Rights:

China’s abysmal human rights record must feature prominently in our policy toward the country. We can’t ignore China’s mass detention of more than a million Uighur Muslims in “reeducation camps” in the Xinjiang region, or its widespread abuse of surveillance for political and religious repression. We can’t ignore Beijing’s failure to respect the rights and autonomy of Hong Kong’s people and the Hong Kong government’s excessive use of force against peaceful protestors. President Trump has consistently turned a blind eye to these abuses in hopes of earning a ‘win’ in his trade war, all to no avail.
 
Under my administration, we will cooperate with China on global issues like climate change, but we won’t allow human rights abuses to go unchecked. The United States must reclaim our own moral authority and work with like-minded nations to stand up forcefully for human rights in China and around the world.

Council on Foreign Relations interview

On Venezuela: No Comment

When the Huffington Post reached out to Harris’s campaign for a comment on her views on Trump policy in Venezuela, the campaign did not respond.

Make no mistake – Nicolás Maduro is a repressive and corrupt dictator who is responsible for an unfathomable humanitarian crisis. The Venezuelan people deserve the support and solidarity of the United States. We should start by immediately extending Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans who’ve fled Maduro’s brutality, which President Trump has refused to do.
 
We should also provide additional aid to international humanitarian organizations to be disbursed to Venezuelan residents and refugees. And we should continue to support multilateral diplomatic efforts toward a peaceful transition to legitimate new elections, which must be the ultimate goal.
 
Finally, we should take U.S. military intervention off the table. National Security Adviser John Bolton would have us believe that the choice in Venezuela is between indifference and invasion. That is a false choice, and I reject it.

Council on Foreign Relations interview

In the Eyes of ‘the Blob’ and the Secret Intelligence Agencies:

President Harris would probably be acceptable to policymaking elites, intelligence chiefs, and military leaders. While her policy views are undefined, her law enforcement experience shows she is politicians who works within the system.

Research: Daniel Ortiz

Return to Insider’s Guide to the 2020 Democrats on War and Peace


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