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Jon Huntsman on War & Peace

Republican UT Governor


After 10 years, Americans are ready to exit Afghanistan

Q: [to Santorum]: If the security situation were to fall apart in Iraq in 2012 would you support sending US troops back to the region?

SANTORUM: I'm not for taking them out of the region. We want victory.

HUNTSMAN: The world is a better place when th US is strong. So guiding anything that we talk about from a foreign policy standpoint needs to be fixing our core. But, second of all, I believe that, you know, after 10 years of fighting the war on terror, people are ready to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. This country has given its all. What remains behind, some element to collect intelligence, special forces capability, and we're going to have to do that in every corner of the world. But we need to fix this core and get serious about what the rest of the 21st century holds for this country.

Source: 2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando FL , Sep 22, 2011

Time has come for us to get out of Afghanistan

Q: How do we protect the women and children of Afghanistan from the radicals?

HUNTSMAN: We are 10 years into this war. America has given its all in Afghanistan. We have families who have given the ultimate sacrifice. And it's to them that we offer our heartfelt salute. But the time has come for us to get out of Afghanistan. We don't need 100,000 troops in Afghanistan nation-building at a time when this nation needs to be built. We are of no value to the rest of the world if our core is crumbling, whic it is in this country. I like those days when Ronald Reagan said that the light of this country would shine brightly for liberty, democracy, human rights, and free markets. We're not shining like we used to shine. We need to shine again. And when we star shining again, it's going to help the women of Afghanistan, along with any other NGO work. We can get it done, but we have to make sure that the Afghan people increasingly take responsibility for their security going forward.

Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL , Sep 12, 2011

Bring troops home from Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, the reality is it is an asymmetrical counterterror effort. We need intelligence. We need special forces. And we need some training on the ground. But I think one way to commemorate our 10-year anniversary of 9/11, remembering the 3,000-plus people who died in New York and in Pennsylvania and in Washington, is to say it's time for this country to set a goal for ourselves: We're going to get our core fixed. We're going to do some nation-building right here at home.
Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library , Sep 7, 2011

Playing Afghan traffic cop doesn't serve strategic interest

Huntsman has begun to distinguish himself in a crowded field by becoming the first to call for a rapid withdrawal of U.S troops from Afghanistan. "If you can't define a winning exit strategy for the American people, where we somehow come out ahead, then we're wasting our money, and we're wasting our strategic resources," Huntsman told Esquire as part of a long profile in its August issue. "It's a tribal state, and it always will be. Whether we like it or not, whenever we withdraw from Afghanistan, whether it's now or years from now, we'll have an incendiary situation. Should we stay and play traffic cop? I don't think that serves our strategic interests."

Huntsman also told Esquire that he plans on running a campaign built in part on the parallel platforms of debt reduction and ending the war in Afghanistan.

Source: Chris Jones in Esquire magazine , Jun 15, 2011

Boots on the ground: expensive & not critical for security

Huntsman also commented on the military intervention in Libya, saying that if he had been president he would not have followed the same course of action. The benefits of the military action are outweighed by the need for serious cuts in the military's budget, he said; "We just can't afford it." Huntsman's comments are consistent with a shifting Republican view of the use of American military force. Past Republican candidates for president have had a nearly unanimous hawkish view on the use of the military. But that consensus is weakening in the face of the long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In a recent interview with the Times, Huntsman noted that the US would "likely have 10,000 or 15,000 troops behind who are prepared to collect intelligence and fight an asymmetric war against terror." But he said that "the very expensive boots on the ground may be something that is not critical for our national security needs, nor is it something we can afford this point in our economic history."
Source: Michael Shear in New York Times "The Caucus" , Jun 15, 2011

We can't afford the NATO operation in Libya

Q: Should the president have supported the NATO operation in Libya? Is that in the vital national interest of the US? I had a conversation with a soon-to-be candidate who is not here tonight, Governor Huntsman, recently, who said he didn't think when it came to vital national interest. And he also said we can't afford it right now. Should the price tag be a factor when you're the commander in chief?

GINGRICH: Sure. The price tag is always a factor, because that's part of the decision.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

2010 Governor, House and Senate candidates on War & Peace: Jon Huntsman on other issues:
UT Gubernatorial:
Gary Herbert
UT Senatorial:
Mike Lee
Orrin Hatch

2011 Special Elections:
CA-36:Jane Harman(D)
CA-36:Janice Hahn(D)
NV-2:Dean Heller(R)
NY-9:Anthony Weiner(D)
NY-26:Chris Lee(R)
NY-26:Kathleen Hochul(D)
Retiring 2012:
CA-6:Lynn Woolsey(D)
OK-2:Dan Boren(D)
MI-5:Dale Kildee(D)
TX-14:Ron Paul(R)
Running for Mayor:
CA-51:Bob Filner(D)
Running for Governor:
IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
WA-8:Dave Reichert(R)
Running for Senate:
AZ-1:Jeff Flake(R)
CT-5:Chris Murphy(R)
HI-2:Mazie Hirono(D)
IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
MO-2:Todd Akin(R)
MT-0:Dennis Rehberg(R)
ND-0:Rick Berg(D)
NM-1:Martin Heinrich(D)
NV-1:Shelley Berkley(D)
UT-3:Jason Chaffetz(R)
Dem. Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-7:Terri Sewell
CA-33:Karen Bass
DE-0:John Carney
FL-17:Frederica Wilson
HI-1:Colleen Hanabusa
LA-2:Cedric Richmond
MA-10:Bill Keating
MI-13:Hansen Clarke
RI-1:David Cicilline
GOP Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-2:Martha Roby
AL-5:Mo Brooks
AZ-1:Paul Gosar
AZ-3:Ben Quayle
AZ-5:David Schweikert
AR-1:Rick Crawford
AR-2:Tim Griffin
AR-3:Steve Womack
CA-19:Jeff Denham
CO-3:Scott Tipton
CO-4:Cory Gardner
FL-12:Dennis Ross
FL-2:Steve Southerland
FL-21:Mario Diaz-Balart
FL-22:Allen West
FL-24:Sandy Adams
FL-25:David Rivera
FL-5:Rich Nugent
FL-8:Dan Webster
GA-2:Mike Keown
GA-7:Rob Woodall
GA-8:Austin Scott
ID-1:Raul Labrador
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IL-10:Bob Dold
IL-11:Adam Kinzinger
IL-14:Randy Hultgren
IL-17:Bobby Schilling
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IN-3:Marlin Stutzman
IN-4:Todd Rokita
IN-8:Larry Bucshon
IN-9:Todd Young
KS-1:Tim Huelskamp
KS-3:Kevin Yoder
KS-5:Mike Pompeo
LA-3:Jeff Landry
MD-1:Andy Harris
MI-1:Dan Benishek
MI-2:Bill Huizenga
MI-3:Justin Amash
MI-7:Tim Walberg
MN-8:Chip Cravaack
MO-4:Vicky Hartzler
MO-7:Billy Long
MS-1:Alan Nunnelee
MS-4:Steven Palazzo
GOP Freshmen
in 111th Congress:

NC-2:Renee Ellmers
ND-0:Rick Berg
NH-2:Charlie Bass
NH-1:Frank Guinta
NJ-3:Jon Runyan
NM-2:Steve Pearce
NV-3:Joe Heck
NY-13:Michael Grimm
NY-19:Nan Hayworth
NY-20:Chris Gibson
NY-24:Richard Hanna
NY-25:Ann Marie Buerkle
NY-29:Tom Reed
OH-1:Steve Chabot
OH-15:Steve Stivers
OH-16:Jim Renacci
OH-18:Bob Gibbs
OH-6:Bill Johnson
OK-5:James Lankford
PA-10:Tom Marino
PA-11:Lou Barletta
PA-3:Mike Kelly
PA-7:Patrick Meehan
PA-8:Mike Fitzpatrick
SC-1:Tim Scott
SC-3:Jeff Duncan
SC-4:Trey Gowdy
SC-5:Mick Mulvaney
SD-0:Kristi Noem
TN-3:Chuck Fleischmann
TN-4:Scott DesJarlais
TN-6:Diane Black
TN-8:Stephen Fincher
TX-17:Bill Flores
TX-23:Quico Canseco
TX-27:Blake Farenthold
VA-2:Scott Rigell
VA-5:Robert Hurt
VA-9:Morgan Griffith
WA-3:Jaime Herrera
WI-7:Sean Duffy
WI-8:Reid Ribble
WV-1:David McKinley
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Page last updated: Nov 05, 2011