“We favor Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but we don’t say all of Jerusalem,” Gelb said. He said the issue of whether Jerusalem should be undivided “would be worked out in a final settlement. That’s the reality.”
Warren offered a more general answer, with no outlines of an agreement, and, like Brown, emphasized that Israel must remain an ally.
“The role of US legislators is to make it clear that the United States will support those who support peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians,” she wrote, adding that “I do not believe that a lasting peace can be imposed from the outside.”
Brown and Warren are also at odds over Obama’s timeline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan by 2014. Brown, a longtime National Guard member, backs that deadline.
“I’m concerned less with the precise pace of the withdrawal in Afghanistan than I am with doing it responsibly, defeating the enemy, rooting out corruption, and improving the Afghan military and police forces so that we can leave Afghanistan in a better position than when we arrived,” he wrote.
Warren said she wants a withdrawal “as quickly as possible, consistent with the safety of our troops.”
“We need to transition to Afghan control because, ultimately, it is the Afghans who must take responsibility for their own future,” she wrote.
A quicker pullout is popular with many Democrats and war-weary voters. But “the risk there is the Afghans aren’t ready to take over,” Gelb said.
Asked about Romney’s declaration that Russia is “our number one geopolitical foe,” Brown said he disagrees with that assessment. He said he is concerned, however, that Russia is not doing enough to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Warren said she, too, disagrees with Romney’s view of Russia and indicated she does not consider the country either friend or foe. She said the United States must work with Russia to pressure Iran, Syria, and North Korea, and “stand up vigorously” when Russia tramples its citizens’ rights.
“In short, we have interests, and they have interests,” she wrote. “We work together where we can, and we pursue a separate course where it makes sense for us.”
Asked about another Romney argument, that Obama conducted an “apology tour” early in his term that projected a weak image overseas, Brown made clear he does not share that view.
“I’ll let the pundits characterize how the president’s ‘tone’ is perceived abroad,” Brown wrote. “President Obama has had some notable successes in his foreign policy, including the battle against terrorism around the world.”
Warren bashed Romney’s line about an “apology tour.”
“Nothing like that ever happened, and Republicans should be called out for making false claims,” she wrote. “President Obama has taken a tough, smart, and pragmatic approach to foreign policy that has not only gotten results but also repaired our image and leadership around the world.”