Printable Page Headline News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13
 
 
Clinton,Trump Battle Over Natl Security07/30 10:21

   In their struggle for the upper hand on national security, Hillary Clinton 
and Donald Trump are emphasizing strikingly different themes -- he as the bold 
and cunningly unpredictable strongman who will eliminate terrorism; she as the 
calm, conventional commander in chief who will manage all manner of crises.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- In their struggle for the upper hand on national 
security, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are emphasizing strikingly different 
themes - he as the bold and cunningly unpredictable strongman who will 
eliminate terrorism; she as the calm, conventional commander in chief who will 
manage all manner of crises.

   Terrorism is Trump's national security touchstone, and the Islamic State 
group is his target. He promises to wipe it out, and quickly.

   Clinton accuses him of fearmongering and of denigrating the U.S. military as 
gutted and worn out. She presents herself as the anti-Trump.

   "America's strength doesn't come from lashing out," she said in accepting 
the Democratic nomination Thursday. "Strength relies on smarts, judgment, cool 
resolve, and the precise and strategic application of power." By implication, 
Trump is cast as bombastic, scattershot, impulsive and fanciful.

   National security has emerged as a key focus of the campaign --- not so much 
the candidates' plans as their temperaments. Trump says he is best suited 
because he would be a dealmaker and deliberately unpredictable, thus making it 
more difficult for adversaries to counter his military or diplomatic moves. 
Clinton pitches her steadiness and depth of experience from eight years in the 
Senate and four years as President Barack Obama's secretary of state.

   Each has zeroed in on what many consider the most worrisome issues: 
terrorism and an assertive Russia. The next president, however, will face a 
wider range of problems, to include ending the war in Afghanistan, managing the 
nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea, coping with a rising China and 
ending a cycle of bloody instability in Iraq and Syria. There also are 
challenges in cyberwarfare, nuclear weapons and the modernization of the U.S. 
military.

   Trump calls his approach "America first," meaning alliances and coalitions 
would not pass muster with him unless they produced a net benefit to the U.S. 
He drew rebukes from much of the national security establishment when he 
suggested in a recent newspaper interview that as president he might not defend 
certain NATO member countries against outside attack if they were falling short 
of the alliance's defense spending targets. He also has been accused of being 
too easy on Vladimir Putin, the Russian president whom Trump has openly admired.

   Clinton sees international partnerships as essential tools for using 
American influence and lessening the chances of war. That is an approach rooted 
in a U.S. tradition of bipartisan support for institutions such as NATO, whose 
value and future Trump says should not be taken for granted.

   Trump has tried to keep his focus on fear. In his acceptance speech at the 
Republican National Convention he decried "war and destruction." He said the 
long-volatile and often violent Middle East is now "worse than it has ever been 
before," suggesting Americans are increasingly at risk.

   He mocks Clinton's experience as a member of Obama's war Cabinet, labeling 
her legacy at the State Department as "death, destruction, terrorism and 
weakness."

   She questions Trump's reliability. "He loses his cool at the slightest 
provocation," she said in her acceptance speech at the Democratic National 
Convention. "Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can 
bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons."

   The commander in chief's responsibility in the nuclear arena is not 
traditionally a hot-button issue on the campaign trail. But it has arisen more 
regularly this time, mainly because the Democrats see Trump as vulnerable to 
voter doubts about whether he could be trusted to use nuclear restraint. He 
raised eyebrows during a Republican primary debate when he seemed unaware of 
the nuclear "triad," the bombers, submarines and long-range missiles that have 
comprised the three basic pieces of the American nuclear arsenal for more than 
50 years.

   Through her supporters, including retired military officers, Clinton has 
pushed back on Trump's claim that he alone has the right formula for keeping 
America secure.

   "She, as no other, knows how to use all instruments of American power, not 
just the military, to keep us all safe and free," John Allen, the retired 
Marine general and former presidential envoy to the international coalition 
aligned against the Islamic State, told the Democratic National Convention.

   Allen presented a counterpoint to Trump's top military supporter, retired 
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. In 
his address to the Republican National Convention, Flynn doubled down on 
Trump's portrayal of Clinton as unqualified to be president. He blamed her for 
"bumbling indecisiveness, willful ignorance and total incompetence."


(KA)

 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN