ABC News has posted excerpts of Charlie Gibson's interview with GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. The interview is Palin's first since coming onto the national scene, and political watchers will be paying close attention to get a sense of Palin's grasp of the issues and her ability to handle potentially difficult questions.
Palin said during the interview that she favors Georgia and Ukraine joining NATO. Gibson pointed out that "Putin has said he would not tolerate NATO incursion into the Caucasus," and asked Palin if the U.S. would have to go to war with Russia if that country invaded Georgia once Georgia became a member of NATO. Palin responded, "perhaps so."
"I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help," she said.
What I think is that smaller democratic countries that are invaded by a larger power is something for us to be vigilant against. We have got to be cognizant of what the consequences are if a larger power is able to take over smaller democratic countries.
And we have got to be vigilant. We have got to show the support, in this case, for Georgia. The support that we can show is economic sanctions perhaps against Russia, if this is what it leads to.
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.