Ohio Gov. John Kasich calls for US leadership around the world

In the face of radical and violent extremists, the United States must lead the world and stick by its allies, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Wednesday to several hundred political, business and faith leaders.

“We don’t have a right as a nation to retreat from the world, I mean, what are we, crazy?” Kasich said. He reiterated his support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, saying the 1949 agreement is essential for collective security.

“The world needs us to lead, the world wants us to lead,” Kasich said.

Kasich did not mention Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump by name but his remarks contrasted sharply with Trump’s previous statements on NATO, Russia and the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

Trump has said he would look at pulling the U.S. out of NATO because he views it as is costly and obsolete, according to FactCheck.org. Trump has also expressed admiration for Russian president Vladimir Putin and opposition to the TPP.

Kasich and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates addressed the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a bipartisan group of more than 500 businesses and non-profits. Kasich, who introduced Gates to the audience, spent much of his time at the mic rehashing stories about working with U2 rock star Bono on humanitarian aid decades ago.

Gates said America is an anchor for global stability and without American leadership, the strong will prey upon the weak.

Gates argued that America needs to give more thought to downstream consequences to actions, such as aiding a rebel group, and consider the long-term benefits of strategic investments such as building schools or roads in foreign countries.

Vaccinations, education, agricultural support and other investments give people hope that are baby steps toward building democracy in a foreign country, he said. Gates said that sending one brigade of 3,500 soldiers to a foreign nation costs at least $1-billion.

Gates was not among the 50 national security leaders who signed a letter opposing Trump.

Gates wrote in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that neither Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton has offered a fully developed vision for foreign affairs but he noted that Trump is “willfully ignorant about the rest of the world, our military and its capabilities and about government itself.”

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