Nikki Haley on War & Peace



Never should have lifted terrorist label from Houthis

Q: How would you address the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea and the provocations without expanding the war in the Middle East?

HALEY: Keep in mind, there would be no Houthis without Iran. There wouldn't be Hamas without Iran. And what truly fueled Iran was when Biden fell all over himself to get back into the Iran deal. When he lifted the sanctions on Iran, it was the most dangerous thing he could have done. When he lifted the terrorist label off the Houthis, that was another thing he never should have done. When Iran and their proxies get cash, it goes to fuel terrorism. And now we have that area of the Red Sea. That's a dramatic part of our global supply chain. And so now that they have started causing trouble there, you know, what we're seeing Biden do is now he's like, "uh-oh, we're going to go put the terrorist designation back on them." And now even if he put the sanctions back on Iran, it's going to take a while to do that.

Source: CNN Town Hall: interviews of 2024 presidential candidates , Jan 18, 2024

In Afghanistan way too long; never negotiate with Taliban

Q: You mentioned the tragic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. We all remember President Trump wanting to bring the Taliban to Camp David. Did Trump play a role in that withdrawal?

HALEY: I think that there's a little bit of fault to go around to all sides. The pressure by the American public to get out of wars was important. We had been in Afghanistan way too long. My husband served in Afghanistan; they will tell you, "you can't go and build a new country." And I think that was a terrible mistake. But when you know you want to pull back, you do it in a way that's smart and sensible. Biden wanted to hit it by a certain date. He wanted to do it by September 11.

Q: Trump ultimately negotiated with the Taliban.

HALEY: What Trump did, we never want to see Taliban on U.S. soil ever. No agreement, no anything. I don't want them at Camp David or anywhere. I think it was a mistake to even try and negotiate with the Taliban because this is a group that you can't negotiate with.

Source: CNN Town Hall: interviews of 2024 presidential candidates , Jan 18, 2024

Palestinians don't want a 2-state solution; but "maybe"

Q: Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to reject the establishment of any Palestinian state after the war. Would a President Haley end the longstanding U.S. commitment to a two-state solution?

HALEY: When I was at the U.N., the two-state solution came up over and over again. And Israel always showed up at the table. The Palestinians always rejected the two-state solution, because they want a one-state solution. The Palestinians don't want Israel to exist. We saw that over and over again. Any discussions we had with them, the Palestinian Authority doesn't want to negotiate with Israel. So all the heat always goes to Israel and people always forget the fact that the Palestinians are saying "no" at every breath. When the Palestinians demand anything, Israel has every right to demand security. Israel has every right to say we don't want terrorists on our border. And so will there ever be a two-state solution? Maybe. But Israel has to defend themselves first.

Source: CNN Town Hall: interviews of 2024 presidential candidates , Jan 18, 2024

Support Israel to eliminate Hamas once and for all

Q [to DeSantis]: In the Israel-Hamas war, Governor Haley does not support mass removal of Palestinians from Gaza. Do you?

DESANTIS: When Gov. Haley was at the U.N., she supported the idea of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. The problem with that is the Palestinian Arabs don't recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. Under no circumstances as president am I going to pressure Israel to risk their security to do a so called two-state solution. She was wrong when she embraced that.

HALEY: When I was at the United Nations, I fought every day for Israel. I said a two-state solution wasn't something that was possible because Israel would always come to the table and the Palestinians wouldn't. But right now, we have to make sure that Israel has the support that it needs. There should be three things. Give Israel whatever it wants to get the job done. Two, eliminate Hamas once and for all. And three, do whatever it takes to bring the hostages home.

Source: CNN 2024 pre-Iowa caucus one-on-one debate , Jan 10, 2024

There wouldn't be Hamas without Iran

Q: Iranian-backed militants are attacking U.S. and western interests in the Red Sea (the Houthis), and Syria (Hezbollah) and Iraq. Would you order retaliatory strikes inside Iran at the risk of widening the Israel-Hamas War?

HALEY: When it comes to Iran, what we have to understand, there would be no Hamas without Iran. There would not be Houthis without Iran. There wouldn't be Hezbollah without Iran. And when you look at the strikes that are happening in Iraq and Syria, that is because of Iran. They're pulling the puppet strings. We've had over 130 strikes on our men and women in Iraq and Syria is unconscionable. We're supposed to have their backs.

DESANTIS: After the attacks against Israel, anyone with half a brain knows Iran is behind this. They fund Hamas. They fund Hezbollah. We did a special session of the legislature down in Florida. We expanded sanctions against Iran.

Source: CNN 2024 pre-Iowa caucus one-on-one debate , Jan 10, 2024

Go hard after Iranian infrastructure in Syria & Iraq

Q: You said in last month's debate that by contrast to the Biden administration's approach to Iran, you would, "Punch them once and punch them hard." Were you saying that it's time to bomb Iran?

Haley: No, I was not saying it's time to bomb Iran. But I dealt with Iran every day when I was at the United Nations and they only respond to strength. What they don't respond to is when you weaken the sanctions like they did on Iran that allowed China to send them billions to fill their proxies, what they don't respond to is when you give $6 billion for five hostages, that only makes them want more hostages. What they don't respond to is when they do 140 strikes on our men and women in Syria and Iraq and we do nothing but just some small shots back. You've got to punch them, you've got to punch them hard and let them know that, that's the only way they're going to respond. So the way you do that is you go after their infrastructure in Syria and Iraq where they're hitting our soldiers.

Source: NewsNation 2023 Republican primary debate in Alabama , Dec 6, 2023

Win in Ukraine to protect Taiwan

If you look at the fact Russia was losing that war with Ukraine, Putin had hit rock bottom, they had raised the draft age to 65, he was getting drones from Iran. All of a sudden, Hamas goes and invades Israel and butchers those people on Putin's birthday. There is no one happier right now than Putin because all of the attention America had on Ukraine suddenly went to Israel. And that's what they were hoping is going to happen. We need to make sure that we have full clarity that there is a reason again that Taiwanese want to help Ukrainians because they know if Ukraine wins, China won't invade Taiwan. There's a reason the Ukrainians want to help Israelis because they know that if Iran wins, Russia wins, these are all connected. But what wins all of that is a strong America, not a weak America, and that's what Joe Biden's given us.
Source: NewsNation 2023 Republican primary debate in Alabama , Dec 6, 2023

Win in Ukraine to protect Taiwan from China

When it comes to China and Taiwan, the one way that we keep China from going into Taiwan is, one, make sure that we win in Ukraine, that we protect our friends, but also let China know that there'll be hell to pay if they go into Taiwan. They need to know that there is going to be a force that's going to go against them and they need to know it's not just going to be the United States. That is why we need to build our partnerships with India, with South Korea, with Japan, with the Philippines, with Australia. We need to start pulling that alliance together.

If China pulled the rug out from under us tomorrow, would we be ready? Think about what happened during COVID. Everybody told you to wear a mask, they were made in China. Everything that happened, if you go to the drugstore, all those medicines are made in China. We have to make sure that we are not relying on China for anything related to our national security, which means let's start focusing on doing deals with our friends now.

Source: NewsNation 2023 Republican primary debate in Alabama , Dec 6, 2023

War in Ukraine is about freedom--one we have to win

This is bigger than Ukraine. This is a war about freedom. And it's one we have to win. You look at those Ukrainians, and what did they do when Russia invaded their freedoms? They moved in there, went to the front lines, and fought for their country. What we have to understand is a win for Ukraine is a win for all of us, because tyrants tell us exactly what they're going to do.

So when you're dealing with Russia and China, I'll give you an example. The Russian plane knocked down our U.S. drone a couple of weeks ago. Remember that? What do we do about it? Nothing. You know what I would have done if I was president? Put two drones up there in a fighter jet and put our naval fleet back in the Black Sea because it never should have left in the first place.

Source: CNN Town Hall: interviews of 2024 presidential candidates , Jun 4, 2023

Played a prominent role in withdrawing from Iran deal

Known as the "Iran whisperer," Nikki played a prominent role in Trump's decision to repeal Obama's disastrous Iran deal. She argued that the United States could not ignore all of the regime's bad behavior, including its continued development of ballistic missiles, its terrorist activities throughout the Middle East, and its refusal to give access to international inspectors. She argued that the Iran nuclear deal made America less safe and praised Trump's decertification of it.
Source: 2024 Presidential campaign website NikkiHaley.com , May 7, 2023

Have to negotiate from strength, Biden surrendered

I think everybody's wanting to go back and talk about Trump. The truth is under four years of Trump Afghanistan was safe. We made sure that we kept terrorism at bay and that we came from a strength of position. What's happened in seven months of Biden is we've completely surrendered and we've humiliated ourselves in the eyes of the world. There are times where you have to negotiate with the devil, but you negotiate from a point of strength. You don't do it from a point of weakness.
Source: CBS Face the Nation 2021 interview of former U.N. ambassador , Aug 22, 2021

Condemned Russia for criticizing US over Syria response

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people, an act Haley condemned as "a violation of all standards of morality." The Russian ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, began a meeting of the Security Council by criticizing the United States for making threats. "What is strange is that Russia is ignoring the real threat to international peace and security that has brought us all here, and it is ignoring its own unilateral responsibility for all of it," she said.
Source: The Washington Examiner on Trump Cabinet , Dec 13, 2018

Military action & sanctions against Syrian chemical weapons

Q: Since last year, there have been at least 30 chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Why did this particular attack last week warrant military action?

HALEY: Obviously this was cumulative. Assad had been using chemical weapons multiple times. But more so, this was about the Security Council resolutions--Russia had vetoed all of them. So we felt like we had gone through every diplomatic measure of talking that we could, and it was time for action. We hope Assad got the message [that] the international community will not allow chemical weapons to come back into our everyday life, and the fact that he was making this more normal and that Russia was covering it up, all of that has to stop.

Q: Are there any consequences for Assad's patrons, Russia and Iran, who continue to protect him?

HALEY: Absolutely. So, you will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down. They will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons used.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2018 interviews of Trump Cabinet members , Apr 15, 2018

Peacekeeping forces should not be permanent

Q: Several times you talked about the idea of exit strategy. What is wrong with having open-missions with peacekeeping if it's basically doing a good job at a reasonable cost?

HALEY: Because there should never be a time we don't want to lift up countries. There should never be a time we don't want to make them more independent. If we're there all the time, all you're doing is creating dependence. So what we're looking at is you're going to see us wind down. But guess what? We're going to work harder on those areas that truly don't have peace, those areas that are trying to get stability and can't get there.

If we are going into an area like South Sudan, there is a serious problem when we can't get food and medical equipment to those people who need it. The reason we can't get it to them is not just because of extremists. It's because of their own government. When you've got that issue, we actually have to punish the government for not allowing us to bring in aid to those.

Source: Council on Foreign Relations on Trump Cabinet , Mar 29, 2017

Other candidates on War & Peace: Nikki Haley on other issues:
2024 Republican Presidential Candidates:
Ryan Binkley (R-TX)
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND)
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Larry Elder (R-CA;withdrew)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-FL;withdrew)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Perry Johnson (R-IL)
Mayor Steve Laffey (R-RI)
Former V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN;withdrew)
Vivek Ramaswamy (R-OH)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Secy. Corey Stapleton (R-MT)
Mayor Francis Suarez (R-FL;withdrew)
Former Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)

2024 Democratic and 3rd-party primary candidates:
Pres. Joe Biden (D-DE)
V.P.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I-NY)
Chase Oliver (L-GA)
Rep.Dean Phillips (D-MN)
Jill Stein (Green)
Cornel West (Green Party)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Feb 16, 2024; copyright 1999-2022 Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org