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Candidate Positions on Afghanistan

Read the full responses from candidates below. “Answer option” is the choice given in the quiz, and “Candidate’s position” shows the candidate’s response to MPR News.

Question: What changes would you propose to the war policy in Afghanistan?
Bob BarrBob Barr ANSWER OPTION: Do not support a sustained U.S. presence in Afghanistan.
CANDIDATE'S POSITION: Barr said in an interview that "If we have evidence that a nation or a nongovernmental entity has been engaged in acts that pose a clear and present threat to the United States or to our forces, we have every right, defensively, to take action to remove that threat, to neutralize that threat. That may very well have been the case in Afghanistan. But that is certainly not the case for a continued massive presence in Afghanistan." (More Info)

John McCainJohn McCain ANSWER OPTION: Increase international support through NATO, but not increase the number of American forces in the country.
CANDIDATE'S POSITION: In December McCain wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine that "Our recommitment to Afghanistan must include increasing NATO forces, suspending the debilitating restrictions on when and how those forces can fight, expanding the training and equipping of the Afghan National Army through a long-term partnership with NATO to make it more professional and multiethnic, and deploying significantly more foreign police trainers." More recently, he has said that he would not increase the U.S. military presence unless military advisers recommended doing so. (More Info)

Ralph NaderRalph Nader ANSWER OPTION: Candidate declined to provide an opinion

Barack ObamaBarack Obama ANSWER OPTION: Redeploy troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, and increase nonmilitary aid.
CANDIDATE'S POSITION: Obama would increase non-military aid by $1 billion. He said in August, "As President, I would deploy at least two additional brigades to Afghanistan to re-enforce our counter-terrorism operations and support NATO's efforts against the Taliban. As we step up our commitment, our European friends must do the same, and without the burdensome restrictions that have hampered NATO's efforts. We must also put more of an Afghan face on security by improving the training and equipping of the Afghan Army and Police, and including Afghan soldiers in U.S. and NATO operations." (More Info)