Lawrence Lessig on War & Peace



No US ground troops in Syria; but create safe zones

I recognize the frustration that many feel about Syria. After a decade, things are no better than they were. And given Russia's involvement, that will not change anytime soon. But we cannot ignore the incredible instability Syria is bringing to the region. Eleven million Syrians are displaced and effectively refugees. That fact will put enormous pressure on the region and Europe. And we cannot simply ignore that fact and hope it goes away.

I do not now support sending ground troops to Syria. But I do believe we must act with allies to secure at least humanitarian ends. I would support a policy like that which protected the Kurds. The topography of Syria will make that policy more difficult than it was in Kurdistan, but it could be effective nonetheless. There need to be safe zones in Syria. We need to work with allies to secure them now.

Source: 2016 presidential campaign website Lessig2016.us, `Issues` , Oct 29, 2015

Vigorously support nuclear agreement with Iran

As President, I would vigorously support [President Obama's nuclear] agreement with Iran. We must exercise a cautious skepticism of course, but we must also recognize that across history, such is always how peace begins. We have fundamental disagreements with Iran. We cannot tolerate the exporting of terrorism, and we must remain committed to defending the Israeli people. But this first step is an historic achievement. We should celebrate it, and work to make it succeed.
Source: 2016 presidential campaign website Lessig2016.us, `Issues` , Oct 29, 2015

Work with Sunnis and Iraq against ISIS

I don't believe ISIS is like Al-Qaeda. ISIS has engaged in horrific and criminal acts to recruit. But its ultimate objective is not to challenge us. Its objective is to achieve a dominant position in the region. Our strategy must be to work with the Sunnis & Iraq, to give the Sunnis a reason to support the Iraqi government against ISIS. I fear Iraq is looking elsewhere to build this anti-ISIS coalition. We need to move quickly to avoid an alliance that will only create more instability in the future
Source: 2016 presidential campaign website Lessig2016.us, `Issues` , Oct 29, 2015

Maintain 5,500 or more US troops in Afghanistan

I support the President's decision to maintain a small number of troops in Afghanistan. It may be that number should be higher than just 5,500. Those troops are not engaged in combat. They are only providing essential support. I fear that too hasty a retreat would bring to naught the sacrifices of so many Americans in that war. Obama made a commitment to get us out. But he is acting as a statesman, recognizing that rational policy doesn't necessarily track the life of an American administration.
Source: 2016 presidential campaign website Lessig2016.us, `Issues` , Oct 29, 2015

Our trillion dollar war made America less safe

Unlike Clinton and Sanders and O'Malley, I'm willing to tell America the truth about urgent and important needs. That truth is this: The policies that these politicians are pushing are fantasies. Not because, as the Wall Street Journal might argue, we can't afford them. Of course we can afford them. If we can afford a trillion dollar war that has only made America less safe, we can afford a real social security system, or a health care system that doesn't sell out to pharmaceutical companies.
Source: Politico Magazine 2015 article by 2016 presidential hopeful , Oct 1, 2015

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Page last updated: Aug 18, 2016