While watching the Republican debate, I was concerned about the candidates' opinions on how to handle our dealings in the Middle East ["At GOP debate, candidates chide Trump over insults," News, Sept. 17]. It appears that most candidates believe that strenghtening our forces and putting our American boots on the ground will solve all of our problems.

This tactic would cause us to lose thousands of American soldiers fighting the Islamic State group, trying to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and getting more involved in Syria. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina spoke about the United States leaving a vacuum when we withdrew our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. One thing the candidates failed to mention is that we are hated in that part of the world, and our presence is not wanted.

Violent actions will only spur more violence against us. We need to ensure our country's safety first.

Mark Skorzawski, Middle Island

Regarding Newsday's editorial "Don't squander primary debates" [Sept. 18], I too looked forward to an informative debate on Sept. 16. However, beginning with the first debate of the evening, CNN anchors decided inane chatter about Donald Trump was more important than deficits, war or refugees.

Former New York Gov. George Pataki alluded to this when he finally had a chance to speak, but unfortunately, more inane chatter clouded the second debate of the evening as well.

CNN should be ashamed of its agenda, which I believe was getting the participants to look ridiculous. It got in the way of the electorate being informed.

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John Vatalaro, Sayville