December 1st, 2007
06:56 PM ET
6 years ago

Giuliani advocates military build-up to counter Putin

Giuliani said a larger military will help counter Russian and Chinese influence.

OKATIE, South Carolina (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani on Friday advocated a strong military build-up by the United States as a bulwark against the oil-rich Russian President Vladimir Putin and his increasing consolidation of power in the country.

"The good part with Russia is we're not in a Cold War, there is no longer a Soviet empire, their desires are still of a matter of concern but they're not nearly what they used to be and we don't want to get ourselves back into that," said Giuliani, who described Putin as both "good and bad."

"Long term the way we prevent getting ourselves back into that, both with regard to Russia, and even China, is to become militarily even stronger."

The former New York City mayor was responding to a questioner at a town hall meeting who asked: "What are you going to do about Putin?"

Giuliani provided little detail on what being "stronger" would mean, other than saying the "best answer" to the Kremlin would be "a substantial increase in the size of our military."

He justified his claim, explaining that a robust military was the primary reason behind the United States' success in the Cold War. Giuliani said U.S. and European demilitarization after the two World Wars was a mistake that contributed to the growth of Nazism and communism, and he also criticized the post-Cold War peace dividend as "way too big."

Giuliani predicted Putin's "energy extortion" would create more global allies for the United States than it would for Russia.

Still, he said he would maintain a good economic relationship with Russia, but would criticize the Kremlin as needed.

"You keep pointing out the ways that which they are sliding back, because Putin is to some extent sliding back, and you keep making the world know that," he said.

The Putin question is partially moot on the campaign trail, because the Russian president's term expires next year, before Americans cast their ballots.

However, Putin's United Russia Party is expected to maintain its hold on power in this Sunday's Parliamentary elections, and it's been suggested Putin could play a role in the government even after he leaves the presidency.

– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Rudy Giuliani • South Carolina
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. rudy? nah! ny ny

    To quote Abe Lincoln:
    "Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary... and you allow him to make war at pleasure.

    Need I say more?

    December 2, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. B, New York/Moscow

    I am a U.S. citizen who has spent alot of time in Moscow over the past several years and I am frequently appalled by the resounding depth of my country's ignorance of both political and social life here in Russia. Even though Russia is not what the West wants it to be, namely a poor stepchild to us, the wannabe 'rulers of the world', the only thing that Russia really threatens as far as the U.S. is concerned is our absolute power. Considering the catastrophes wrought by the current administration, I see it as a positive when a force like Russia, like them or not, has the power and will to peaceably keep the dark (expansionist, military industrial complex) side of the American system in check. It pains me to say it, but in this sense, Putin, anti-democrat that he is, is doing more positive things for America than Bush has ever done.

    Maybe you don't like Russia's government (though really, how is it that we're so concerned with Russian INTERNAL politics, when ours are so messed up, e.g. highly suspicious presidential elections; lobbyist influence through campaign contributions – really, do you suggest that American corruption is somehow 'better' than Russian corruption?). But Russia's attitude to EXTERNAL affairs seems quite sensible to me. Imagine if Russia infiltrated politics in Mexico and Canada and turned those countries against the U.S. You can bet the U.S. might take it a bit personally and make a very strong response.

    The U.S. needs to get its own house in order before it can serve as any kind of model for the rest of the world. We need to return to our core American values, winning over people with our ideas and our character, not with brute force and threat. We are in a quagmire in Iraq, not because our military is too small, but because our civilian leadership is too ignorant. We need new ideas, someone like Obama or Edwards, or if you're a Republican someone like Huckabee or maybe we can get Bloomberg to run our country like a business, without the scary 'end of times' religious attitude, or maybe Gore will come save us all. At the very least we need a president who sincerely wants to create as much peace as possible in this world, not someone who is hell-bent on starting the next world war.

    December 2, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Brandon, Tampa, FL

    Moments like these make me wonder why none of the good candidates get chosen.

    December 3, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. Tom, Raleigh, NC

    oh great, Rudy sucked into the sabre rattling of the military-industrial complex. so now all you Rudy backers can see who pulls the strings on this puppet.

    December 3, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  5. Common Sense

    Since I'm a history teacher as well, I'll point out this ignorant statement also.
    "He justified his claim, explaining that a robust military was the primary reason behind the United States' success in the Cold War. Giuliani said U.S. and European demilitarization after the two World Wars was a mistake that contributed to the growth of Nazism and communism, and he also criticized the post-Cold War peace dividend as "way too big.""

    First of all, mutual deterrance was the only reason the US never came to real blows with Russia in the cold war because everyone's finger was on the button, knowing that a push of the button would bring on nuclear war, and the end of the world. So spread that war mongering, expand the military garbage with your immigration cronies.. oh yea, 9/11.

    SEcond.
    "Giuliani said U.S. and European demilitarization after the two World Wars was a mistake that contributed to the growth of Nazism and communism"

    This statement is laughable; he really needs a history lesson. How can we progress as a nation with uneducated morons repeating our mistakes from the past. also, i would like to hear how he could explain that demilitarization of the army AFTER THE DEFEAT OF NAZISM contributed to the GROWTH of NAZISM?! We just defeated the darn thing and all of a sudden we are contributing to it!? No RUDY, your militaristic, absolutism is what is making us weak. Communism grew because we allowed it to fester. I'm fairily certain we haven't seen nazis on a wide scale since we defeated the nazis though. increasing the military without even thinking of democracy is only wracheting up the pressure and tension.

    December 3, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. Christopher, Madison, WI

    Someone needs to get the military back up to it's former strength after Clinton took it apart.
    Posted By KEITH JAMES LOUTTIT : November 30, 2007 10:47 pm

    Tell me Keith, in all caps, which president just finished shutting down all military bases...holy crap it was your beloved warmongering draft dodger Bush! BTW Giuliani also dodged the draft in 1968 with a letter from a judge stating that he was a law clerk.
    Newsflash...1968 it was not on the list of acceptable reason not to draw a draft number. Yet another dodger claiming to know what is best militarily.

    December 3, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.