It doesn't have to lead to war and it doesn't have to lead, as I said, to a Cold War, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putin and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller democratic countries.His mission, if it is to control energy supplies, also, coming from and through Russia, that's a dangerous position for our world to be in, if we were to allow that to happen.
GIBSON: Let's turn to Iraq. You said in 2007, you were asked about the surge and you said, "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq." Really? Somebody who wants to be vice president hasn't focused on Iraq?
PALIN: Of course, I -- of course, I've been focused on the war. Of course I've been, as every American has been...
GIBSON: Why did you say that?
PALIN: ... since 9/11. And what we're doing in Iraq today, I believe, is the right thing, as we are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Iraqi people, fighting against Al Qaeda, fighting against Shia extremists and other terrorists who would seek to destroy Iraq's democracy, who would seek to destroy America and our allies.
What we're doing there in Iraq is working, Charlie. That surge is working and we're grateful to General Petraeus and the mission that he has implemented with the counterinsurgency strategy that's working.
And I am very thankful, as I think every American should be, for John McCain pushing for that surge, realizing it was going to take an increase in troops, it was going to take a counterinsurgency strategy to push the bad guys back, to get in there and clear the areas and hold the areas, not let them come back in, and then to start rebuilding with the Iraqi people, their infrastructure, and their civil society. We're on the right path and that victory is in sight and we can't afford to lose in Iraq. We can't afford to lose in Afghanistan, either.
But, Charlie, my concern in this presidential election, in the debates that we are hearing, is the other ticket's vision of what we are doing in Iraq and what the result should be in Iraq. Our mission is for victory so that the Iraqi people can defend themselves...
GIBSON: What's victory, in your mind?
PALIN: The Iraqi people defending themselves, acting more as a sovereign, taking care of themselves in the democratic society that they are building and desiring, and then the American troops get to come home with honor and with victory. And this is as opposed to -- this is important, I think, for the American people to start realizing what the choices are in this election.
Our world view of what's going on there in Iraq and how we should be continuing to surge and reach victory is as opposed to the Democrat ticket, where withdrawal and retreat seems to be the end game that they're reaching for.
That's not victory. What that would allow in Iraq is for Al Qaeda to have a stronghold again. That's not pushing back the terrorists.
GIBSON: Essentially, what we're doing...
PALIN: It's allowing them to grow.
GIBSON: But essentially, what we're doing is come to a withdrawal schedule that is very much on the -- along the lines that Barack Obama has been talking about, getting, basically, troops out of the cities fairly soon, bringing them home by 2011. That's all the kind of time schedule he's been talking about.