Chafee: We must honor our obligations to negotiate under the Non Proliferation Treaty
This was the most low-key campaign appearance I've attended so far. About twenty-five people were present for the event, and I saw no evidence of any press people there. That's a pity.
Lincoln Chafee's most effective story came in connection with the Iraq war. Before the war began, he said he interviewed twenty top CIA analysts at the CIA headquarters, who, as he tells it, could not furnish any proof that Saddam Hussein had the weapons of mass destruction that the Bush administration alleged he had. Chafee's estimate of the Iraq war's eventual cost-$6 trillion-is twice the one that comes from Joseph Stiglitz, and he stressed his opposition to the Iraq war from before its start.
When I asked Mr. Chafee if he would stop the current $1 trillion nuclear modernization program in its tracks if he were president, he said he would, and added that the program is entirely useless. He believes that our current tendency to lead with the sword in foreign policy, along with the Iraq war, is exactly what has created ISIS, our difficulties with Russia, and the Syrian civil war in the first place. Instead of waging futile wars, we must abandon Bush-Cheney unilateralism and lead the world as he is convinced we can in multilateral negotiations about ISIS, Syria, and the Ukraine, particularly with those whom we are inclined not to trust. We must also honor our obligations to negotiate under the Nonproliferation Treaty. At the same time, he stated that we dare not reduce the defense budget until we have demonstrated that multilateral negotiation works.
Concerning social programs, Chafee is sharp enough to grasp the retail/sales mentality that prevails in our country, which is why he describes those programs as providing basic services-which he sees as government's chief duty-rather than as meeting human needs.
At the end of the program, he said he would be glad to reurn to Colby-Sawyer.
After the session was over, I urged him to press his rivals on military/diplomatic issues. I hope he does, since that alone would be a vital service to the nation.