GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is the first 2012 contender out with a reaction to President Barack Obama’s speech, saying Obama is moving too slowly in removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
The Republican party has split over the War in Afghanistan, with deficit hawks like Huntsman opposing defence hawks like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Graham said on CNN moments ago that Obama should have kept the “surge” troops in Afghanistan until the end of the traditional fighting season — which stretches on until snow falls in the country.
Read Huntsman’s full statement below:
“With America mired in three expensive conflicts, we have a generational opportunity to reset our position in the world in a way that makes sense for our security as well as our budget.
The war in Afghanistan is an asymmetrical war, and our approach ought to adjust accordingly. Our troops have done everything we’ve asked them to. They’ve routed the Taliban, dismantled Al Qaeda, and facilitated democratic elections.
Now it is time we move to a focused counter-terror effort which requires significantly fewer boots on the ground than the President discussed tonight.
We need a safe but rapid withdrawal which encourages Afghans to assume responsibility, while leaving in place a strong counter intelligence and special forces effort proportionate to the threat. The War on Terror is being fought against a global enemy, and it is critical that we have the resources to fight them wherever they’re found.”