Sanders believes that climate change is the greatest threat to national security of all, worse even than global terrorism – for which, in fact, he blames climate change. However, he agrees that terrorism is a major, immediate danger, and calls for the US to lead an international coalition including Muslim nations in the Middle East to oppose ISIS and similar groups.
JOHN DICKERSON: “Senator Sanders, you said you want to rid the planet of ISIS. In the previous debate you said the greatest threat to national security was climate change. Do you still believe that?”
BERNIE SANDERS: “Absolutely. In fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism. And if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say, you’re gonna see countries all over the world – this is what the CIA says — they’re going to be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops, you’re gonna see all kinds of international conflict. But of course international terrorism is a major issue that we have got to address today. And I agree with much of what the secretary and the governor have said. But let me have one area of disagreement with the secretary. I think she said something like the bulk of the responsibility is not ours. Well, in fact, I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq, something that I strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely and led to the rise of al Qaeda and to ISIS. Now, in fact, what we have got to do — and I think there is widespread agreement here — is the United States cannot do it alone. What we need to do is lead an international coalition, which includes very significantly the Muslim nations in that region who are gonna have to fight and defend their way of life.”