December 1st, 2007
06:56 PM ET
10 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. Joe, Florida

    and people say they fear Hillary; look at this bozo, this man is CRAZY, these are the things that lead to Cold Wars and World Wars!!. how stupid and arrogant, it's disgusting.

    CNN, make sure this message is posted, do not dare to omit it.

    December 1, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Scott,Tupelo,MS

    I think he is retarded just look at him I almost fill sorry for him. He has a huge head a speak impeadment and blinks his eyes and can barely complete a sentence. He probably rode the short bus too.

    December 1, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. vtercell

    (Sigh...) All you Negative Nancys out there just don't get it, do you? Rudi wasn't addressing the threat of some hostile foreign power - he was proposing a responsible and workable health care program.

    The U.S. military has fantastic health care benefits for all its members. Therefore, if every citizen of the U.S. were full-time military, all Americans would be automatically covered!

    So stop seeing the glass as half empty, for cryin' out loud.

    December 1, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. Scott from Freehold

    How do you propose doing that, Rudy, given all the troops and equipment, not to mention cost, involved in Iraq?

    December 1, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    Tsk, tsk. Are all the Republican candidates convinced that war is the answer to everything? They're all a bunch of warmongerrers if so.

    Look at Bush's failed foreign policy in Iraq. Nowadays, all we do is lose good people in explosions. The shrub doesn't even care about them anymore. Just the war in general.

    December 1, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. John from America

    Military build up? Sounds like George Bush Junior – Rudy did you ever hear of diplomacy?

    Russia still has over 10000 nukes and Rudy wants to start another cold war!

    Sounds like the small mind of a corrupt big city mayor not a presidential contender!

    December 1, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. Independent in IA

    I'm surprised Numbnuts hasn't yet threatened Hugo Chavez...or maybe he just hasn't figured out how to appropriate the oil. He wants to attack everyone, it seems.

    December 1, 2007 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. Bob, Roxboro, NC

    Be careful Rudy,,
    With our manufacturing capability now being the property of the Chinese, how ya gonna wage war without their permission?
    The lust for money has undermined America's ability to even make threats.
    No one takes us seriously anymore,,especially when some little cave dweller in Afghanistan gives us the finger and our response is the "Patriot Act."

    December 1, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. Denis, NJ

    LOL. Rudy should stick to local government. Now here's a guy whose lack of foreign policy experience can be dangerous to the future of this country, if he's ever elected President.

    December 1, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. Zac, Atlanta, GA

    A Cold War style arms race? I know Republicans love Reagan, but this is nuts! Why throw money at a solution for a problem solved 20 years ago?

    December 1, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. JD Rugby ND

    Wake up Republicans. See this man for the right-wing nut-job extremist he is. This guy is not good for the United States.

    December 1, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Great move. Now we've got something to continue spendng levels for D.O.D. after we pull out of Iraq. Instead of changing our economic dependence on being a military industrial state–we just sustain it by creating a new cold war. Way to go Rudy. Put us back 20 years. Sounds like he's got the same crappy neo-con advisor's Bush had.

    December 1, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Andrew, Haslett, MI

    Great idea, Rudy! That's just what we need, MORE military spending. When are you going to get it through your thick head that expanding the empire is what got us into trouble in the first place? Strong national defense is one thing, but an arms race is quite another. Perhaps if you also bring home all the troops stationed in foreign countries where they have no business or reason for being, it would make more sense to strength our national defense force, but there's no good reason for purposely antagonizing sovreign nations just because you don't like what they've done with their country! For heavens' sake, I'd be more worried about Venezuela cutting off our oil than Russia.

    December 1, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Bill Austin, TX

    The Lowest form of Stupidity is Weakness in the face of the enemy. It seems that the majority of the commentary here is exemplary of this stupidity. Authoritarian strongmen like Putin respect only strength.

    December 1, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  15. John from America

    Bill from Austin says;

    The Lowest form of Stupidity is Weakness in the face of the enemy. It seems that the majority of the commentary here is exemplary of this stupidity. Authoritarian strongmen like Putin respect only strength.

    Well Bill the only Authoritarian strongman I've seen lately has come the "Great Republic of Texas" as some of your fellow posters like to call their home.

    Funny how those sucking off defense jobs always think more military hardware is a great idea! Well, put your pea brain in gear and think about diplomacy! China one of our former great authoritarian led enemy is not our number one trading partner would you like to provoke them also?

    We are the greatest military power on the planet right now and you want to keep throwing money for new war gadgets?

    When the military/industrial complex war mentality causes the next depression perhaps you'll take your head out of the sand and ask – how did we get here?

    Placing a missile defense ring on Russia's border prods the Russian paranoid mentality after all they almost were extinguished as a nation in WW2. So we have a fatally flawed missile defense system being deployed even though it doesn't work and we get all excited about Putin.

    All you defense contractors on here need to find a "productive job" and stop sucking off my tax dollars!

    Manufacturing goods creates wealth not war disposables, you Rudy supporters need a lesson in economics!

    December 1, 2007 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  16. Robert Ottawa, Canada

    where are the Americans going to get the money from? Daaaaaaaa

    December 1, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. E. Elliott, Orlando, FL

    The man is the least knowledgeable of the entrie cast of failure. But the dummies picked W, right? And trashed McCain to do it. So he has a good chance to win. Hope someone asks baldy whose taxes he will raise to pay for it? Answer will be to borrow more against the next few generations, same as we have now. Not enough guts to actually do the job, but maybe has the few it takes to start a war he will never fight in. Rudi – a vote for more of the same.

    December 1, 2007 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  18. Butch Dillon

    Rudy, our all American 9/11 hero, is beginning to sound and look like a drugged out refuge from reality. He, Willard Mitt and Freddie will end up in the same home for lost politicians. What a group of trash they are. Make way for Obama!

    December 1, 2007 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  19. U WEAK LA


    December 1, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  20. Walt, Belton, TX

    Dear John from America,
    Without a strong military you could be sucking something not of your own choosing. Its' pretty easy to tell someone who hasn't served his country, and I mean in a military uniform. Pretty obvious you've got a lot of similar company on this forum. Good luck to you all!

    December 1, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  21. Martin Wheeler, Miami, Florida

    Military strength is actually an important element in negotiating with Russia and China. Even if a democrat is elected in 2008, they will still see this as an essential component of the overall 'negotiation mix' that is used by our govt. Interestingly, Kucinich would even have to accept the inevitability of dealing with Putin and China with the support of America's military component. You can't ignore it - you can down play it, but it is part of foreign policy. In reality no war will occur between the US, Russia, or China given the reality of today, nukes, economics, etc. What Giuliani said is refreshing, given Putin's sensitivity to military prowess. Bush thinks he can just take Putin to his families compound and he will be irrevocably charmed - that is shortsighted. Putin needs to feel threatened, otherwise he continues unabated.

    December 1, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  22. Kenneth C, Largo Maryland

    Why wonder how we'll finance Armageddon, we’ll borrow the money from the Chinese and use it to fight everyone else. After all when the dust settles, there won’t be tomorrow. Considering that Rudy evaded the wars of his generation, he must seek to fight his from a secure bunker. Hail Caesar!

    December 1, 2007 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  23. Anonymous, TX

    I think we should grow our Military by 30%, but we need to pay our soldiers better. That will provide better troop rotations and send a message to our Enemies. Strength is a mighty deterent and I pay taxes for three reasons. Strong Military, good roads, and the best education. I think it's time we step it up a notch, our enemies will bow their heads and know that this SuperPower is bigger and badder than ever. Ten years ago we barely had any soldiers and officers with combat experience. Now we're lined with experienced troops, and we have a 300,000 person Iraqi Army at our side. Stick with it folks, and respect our Military, it is the most powerful force in the world. Let them win.

    December 1, 2007 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  24. Maria, New York, NY

    This man is scary. If elected, a Gulliani administraion,in comparison, will make Bush's administration appear as peace-makers. I'm from NYC and I would never vote for this power-hungry facist.

    December 1, 2007 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  25. Skeeve

    Please do! Putin will watch and enjoy, because now Putin will have a legitimate target to point to telling everybody that HE, Putin, was right all along. And then later on you, people, in US will be very surprised(yet again) why yet another country doesn't want to deal with you.

    Please, do!. Meanwhile Russia will sit and watch growing US national debt and falling dollar and together with Russia China and many others will watch and enjoy.

    December 1, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
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