SPIEGEL Interview with John McCain 'I Have a Long Record of Working Together with Our Allies'
In an exclusive SPIEGEL interview, Republican presidential candidate John McCain, 71, discusses European-American relations, Germany's role in Afghanistan, how he would close Guantanamo and the conditions he would place on a global agreement on climate protection.
Presidential hopeful John McCain (on Super Tuesday in New York): "Every nation has the right to defend itself."
SPIEGEL: Senator McCain, Europe is reserving a lot of hope for the next president of the United States. Will you try to win back trust in America around the world?
McCain: I know most of the leaders in Europe and other parts of the world and I have a long record of my positions and my ability to work together with our allies. I think I will start out with a level of credibility.
McCain: Yes. I would announce that we are not ever going to torture anyone held in American custody. I would announce that we were closing Guantanamo Bay and moving those prisoners to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and I would announce a commitment to addressing climate change and my dedication to a global agreement -- but it has to include India and China.
SPIEGEL: So is America coming back to renegotiate the Kyoto Protocol?
McCain: I believe America is going to enter into negotiations to try to reach a global agreement. But, as I said, that agreement must include India and China, two of the emerging economies of the world. We would be foolish not to do so.
SPIEGEL: Will America attempt to go it alone less frequently in the future?
McCAIN: Well, we all hope that America will be multilateral again in the future. There were times when the United States acted unilaterally, but I think we would all prefer to work in concert with our friends and allies.
SPIEGEL: What role will the United Nations play? Bush always ignored the UN.
McCain: The United Nations always plays an important role. But right now we are having to deal with a Russia that is clearly intent on blocking action. That's why the UN must act in a league of democracies that share our values and our common principles.
SPIEGEL: Should Germany play a more important role around the world and obtain a permanent seat on the Security Council, for example?
McCain: Germany does play a very influential role around the world, and I value the relationship that we have shared for many, many generations. I believe Germany will continue to play a very influential and important role in the world.
SPIEGEL: What is your impression of German Chancellor Angela Merkel? Have you had the opportunity to have a longer conversation with her?
McCain: I have known her for many years and gone to the Munich Conference on Security every year. In fact, I had to miss that conference this weekend for the first time in many years because of the campaign. I have had excellent relations with her as I have had with other German leaders from both major parties.
SPIEGEL: Everyone is concerned about Afghanistan right now. Do you think that the Germans should be getting more deeply involved in Afghanistan?
McCain: We need more Germans in Afghanistan. There is a great deal at stake -- for all of Europe and the US -- including the export of the poppy crop products into Europe as well as the threat to stability in entire the region.
SPIEGEL: The United States is fighting against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. Do you expect greater support from the German military there?
McCain: I would like to see more German participation obviously, but those decisions are made by the German government and people.
SPIEGEL: Would you like to see Germany reduce trade with Iran?
McCain: I think we have to punish Iran to force them to abandon their current course.
- Part 1: 'I Have a Long Record of Working Together with Our Allies'
- Part 2: Carrots and Sticks for Iran