This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 1, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In "The Obama Chronicles" segment tonight: the senator's ability to deal with life and death overseas.
The private security company Stratfor, a non-partisan group, has published a four-part series on Obama and McCain's worldview. We have some of it posted on billoreilly.com, and it's all on stratfor.com.
Joining us now from Austin, Texas, Dr. George Friedman, the boss at Stratfor.
You know, I'm enjoying reading your analysis of the foreign affairs component in the election. What would you say is Barack Obama's weakest point vis-a-vis foreign affairs?
DR. GEORGE FRIEDMAN, CEO OF STRATFOR: It really has to be his obsession with the Europeans. He thinks that the biggest mistake George W. Bush made was that he alienated the Europeans in Iraq. His intention is to use the Europeans to support him in Afghanistan, to support him in Russia. He believes in the Europeans.
The problem is that Europe is deeply fragmented. They go in very different directions. And most important, their military capability has declined dramatically since the Cold War. So when he says he's going to work with the Europeans, that's going to be a tough, tough job.
O'REILLY: OK. Now, he told me exactly what you said, that he believes that he can rally Europe because they were alienated by the Bush administration over Iraq, and he can get them as a cohesive unit to stand up to Putin and to help in Afghanistan. Are you saying flat out that he can't do that?
FRIEDMAN: Yes, I guess I am. The Germans get a huge amount of their energy and natural gas from the Russians.
O'REILLY: Right, so they're not going to stand up to Putin no matter who's president or what they say. The Germans are going to let Putin do what Putin wants to do.
FRIEDMAN: They don't really have a choice. The second problem is I don't know what it means that they're going to rally around, to rally around us. It means they've got to have military force to deploy against the Russians and the Baltics in Poland, sent to Afghanistan. They just don't have it even if they decided that they wanted to rally around an Obama presidency.
O'REILLY: So they don't have the troops and the equipment?
FRIEDMAN: They simply don't have the force.
O'REILLY: You know, the Germans are in Afghanistan. They won't fight. See, I'm never getting that. I don't know what Merkel's doing, the chancellor over there. But their part of a NATO force in Afghanistan. Germans won't fight. I'm not getting that. Are you getting that?
FRIEDMAN: Well, I mean, we're getting that the Germans are not deeply committed and we're getting they're not getting the logistical support they need. And she's clearly holding them back.
O'REILLY: But why?
FRIEDMAN: And the idea that she's going to send more force is, I think, completely unrealistic.
O'REILLY: Why? Why would she be holding them back? Doesn't she understand that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are going to come into Germany, too?
FRIEDMAN: Her view of the situation is she's got more important things to worry about right now than Taliban and Al Qaeda. She's got the Russians to worry about, and she's got an election to worry about. She's going to be facing…
O'REILLY: All right.
FRIEDMAN: …re-election at some point. This is not a popular war.
O'REILLY: We're getting off the topic here a little bit. It just boggles the mind that this huge country, Germany, is just not providing any kind of assistance in Afghanistan that we can, you know, count on.
All right. Now, what is Obama's strongest foreign policy suit?
FRIEDMAN: Well, he recognizes that the key to Afghanistan is going to be in Pakistan. And I think that's an important point, which is that so long as Pakistan is a sanctuary for Taliban forces, line supply coming through Pakistan and Afghanistan, so long as that goes on, we're not going to have a settlement in Afghanistan.
The problem with that position, and I have to point that out, is I'm not sure what force he thinks he has available to take on Taliban in Pakistan. That's 180 million people. That's a huge country.
O'REILLY: He told me that he's going to convince the Pakistani government through a series of carrots and stick, the stick being if you don't go after them, we're not going to give you the money that the Bush administration has been providing. Obama said that flat out to me, that he's going to convince the new Pakistani government to wage a war against these Islamic fanatics up in the mountains. Now, you think he's got a chance to do that?
FRIEDMAN: Well, nobody's been able to do that for the past eight years effectively. But he's also got to go beyond the mountains, because the Taliban is down south, different area of the country. And in some cases, the Taliban is stronger than the Pakistani army. What he is really saying, what Obama is saying is it's what has to happen. But if he pushes hard enough, he's going to trigger a civil war in Pakistan that will further destabilize the situation.
O'REILLY: Now, when you stack him up against McCain — I said earlier this week I thought McCain won the debate last Friday just by a little because he was more authoritative on the worldview, in my opinion. The polls show the opposite, that most folks think Obama won the debate. But when you stack Obama's foreign policy vision up against McCain's, what's the big difference there?
FRIEDMAN: Well, the big difference that showed up was on Pakistan. The real question that ultimately is going to be decisive is defense budget. Both of these men have said that they are going to undertake some massive guarantees to Georgia, to Ukraine, Afghanistan and so on. We don't have the force available.
Neither really address the question of defense spending, but one gets the sense that Obama does not even have that on his agenda. McCain does understand what's going to be necessary. So I'd have to argue that the big 800-pound gorilla in this whole debate that wasn't addressed is you've all guaranteed a lot of things. Which one of you is prepared to raise the defense budget? I think that's going to be McCain.
O'REILLY: All right. Doctor, thanks very much. We appreciate your expertise.
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