Russell also remains concerned about U.S. policy towards Iran, especially since The New York Times reported over the weekend that the U.S. and Iran have agreed to unilateral negotiations — which the White House has now denied.
“What is the U.S. plan besides saying we’re not going to allow it? Now we’re talking unilateral talks with Iran after the election? That’s very dangerous,” Russell said.
“This is a dangerous cocktail we’re making, and now we keep trying to make some type of tough statement against Iran as they continue to make centrifuges and enrich uranium,” he said. “They’re going to get the bomb because of our inaction.”
“We have to do that as a community of world nations, to put that kind of pressure on or we assume too great of risk as the United States,” Russell added. “If what we calculate with Iran fails, we’ve screwed it up for the whole world which really relies on that region for their energy sources.”
Russell also believes that both candidates need to seriously look at the U.S.’s commitment to the war in Afghanistan.
“Each candidate needs to answer, do you believe that Afghanistan is a long range national security interest of the United States,” said Russell. “If the answer to that is yes, then at what length are we willing to defend that national security interest?”
“If the answer to that question is no, Afghanistan is not important to us,” Russell added, “then why did we fight there for ten years and why have we of our generation of soldiers lost so many good friends and given our own efforts in Afghanistan?”
Russell is also against a strict, defined timeline for pulling out of Afghanistan, arguing that it should be based on certain conditions.
“I want some reassurance from Governor Romney that he understands the international affairs of the region,” Russell said when asked what Romney needs to do to establish his credibility on foreign policy.
“I don’t think he’s ignorant on foreign policy, but he certainly has to reassure Americans that he understands because I don’t think the people of the United States have the stomach to get into more wars,” Russell concluded.
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