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Amid Iran tensions, Democratic hopefuls joust over military plans

Amid Iran tensions, Democratic hopefuls joust over military plans

One week after Iranian rockets damaged military bases in Iraq hosting U.S. troops, the Democratic candidates vying to replace President Donald Trump attacked his foreign policy plans as short-sighted and laid out their own vision of what the next commander in chief needs to do to make America safer.

The seventh debate of this campaign cycle, held in Iowa less than a month before the first primary votes are set to be cast, had the fewest candidates on stage (only six qualified) but more national security and military policy discussion than any of the previous events.

The candidates Tuesday offered near unanimous condemnation of Trump’s policies — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said the president is “taking us toward another war” — and promised to work with allies to calm tensions in the Middle East and bring more U.S. troops home from overseas combat zones.

But the presidential contenders also offered some sharp contrasts in their military plans. Asked if all U.S. forces should be withdrawn from the Middle East, Klobuchar and former Vice President Joe Biden both said that a full pull-out could create more chaos in the region.

From left, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, businessman Tom Steyer, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and former Housing Secretary Julian Castro participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate on Oct. 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio. (John Minchillo/AP)

“I think it’s a mistake to pull out the small number of troops that are there now to deal with ISIS,” Biden said. “ISIS is going to reconstitute itself if we’re in a position where we have to pull our forces out Americans and leave the entire region.”

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, however, said those servicemembers (around 5,000 are on the ground in the region) need to come home.

“We should stop asking our military to solve problems that cannot be solved militarily,” said Warren of the instability in Iraq, Syria and Iran. “Our keeping combat troops there is not helping. We need to work with our allies, we need to use our economic tools, we need to use our diplomatic tools.”

Buttigieg, Klobuchar meet with Sharpton’s NAN

Several of the Democratic hopefuls for president joined Rev. Al Sharpton for a breakfast Thursday, hosted by Sharpton’s own National Action Network. (Nov. 21) Subscribe for more Breaking News: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress Website: https://apnews.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP Facebook: https://facebook.com/APNews Google+: https://plus.google.com/115892241801867723374 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/APNews/ … read more

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2020 Democratic hopefuls react to Pelosi announcing formal impeachment inquiry against Trump

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2020 Daily Trail Markers: Democratic presidential hopefuls campaign in rural South Carolina

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