Sanders defends foreign policy record
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The Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) Former Sanders campaign manager: Don't expect email list to be shared with DNC Adult film star: Trump and Stormy Daniels invited me to 'hang out' MORE presidential campaign is touting its candidate’s foreign policy judgment in response to criticism from allies of Hillary Clinton, his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination.

While former Secretary of State Clinton may have more experience than the Vermont senator, the Sanders campaign said he’s made the wiser choices.

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“We certainly concede that former Secretary of State Clinton has more experience than Sen. Sanders, but his judgment on major foreign policy issues is far superior,” Sanders campaign spokesman Michael Briggs said on Tuesday.

The Briggs comments follow a letter from 10 former foreign policy officials supporting Hillary Clinton’s campaign that argued the Sanders strategy for fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is “troubling.”

“His lack of a strategy for defeating ISIS — one of the greatest challenges we face today — is troubling. And the limited things he has said on ISIS are also troubling,” the former officials, including former Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Ambassador Nicholas Burns, wrote in the letter.

The officials also panned Sanders's call for Iran and Saudi Arabia to be part of the coalition of Arab nations to combat ISIS as “puzzling.”

“The Iranian government recently failed to stop protesters from ransacking and burning the Saudi embassy in Tehran, after which Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic ties with Iran,” the officials wrote.

Sanders has called for using “Muslim troops” to fight ISIS.

At Sunday’s Democratic debate in South Carolina, he said he opposes using American troops on the ground in the Middle East.

When outlining his plan to defeat ISIS back in November, Sanders said he was open to working alongside nations including Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

"We have different points of view ... but Russia has got to join us. We are concerned about Iran, but Iran has to join us. We have concerns about Saudi Arabia, but Saudi Arabia has to join us," Sanders said in November. "If all over the world these attacks are taking place, the world has got to come together."

“As president, Sen. Sanders would do all that he could to destroy the barbaric Islamic State terrorist group, but he will do it by maintaining a strong coalition of major powers and our Muslim allies,” Briggs said in a Tuesday release. “He will do everything he can to prevent U.S. troops from getting involved in perpetual war in the quagmire of the Middle East.”

Sanders also highlighted his 2002 vote against the Iraq War, a line of attack he frequently uses against Clinton, who as a New York senator voted to authorize the war.

“Sen. Sanders not only voted against the war but helped lead the opposition to the war. Many of the concerns he raised in 2002 turned out, unfortunately, to be true,” Briggs said in the release.

Sanders also knocked Clinton’s proposal for a no-fly zone in Syria.

“Sen. Sanders also agrees with President Obama that Secretary Clinton’s proposal for a no-fly zone in Syria could have dangerous implications,” Briggs said.  

The influx of attacks between Sanders and Clinton come just two weeks before the first ballots are cast.

Polls show the race between the two chief Democratic opponents tightening with Sanders closing the gap Iowa and surpassing the former secretary of state in New Hampshire.