What will the candidates do to secure Afghanistan, Pakistan?
Part 4 of the third presidential debate
- Duration 10:58
- Date Oct 22, 2012
Part 4 of the third presidential debate
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All right let's go and that leads -- this Texas right to the next segment governor.
America's longest war Afghanistan and Pakistan.
But Bob and governor you get to go to charity can't prohibit you can't have that the president just lay out a whole series what that -- -- give -- a chance -- -- -- respect -- you had laid out quite.
A program -- that's probably true will I don't know.
We'll give you will agree we'll catch up.
United States is scheduled to turn over responsibility for security in Afghanistan to the Afghan government and 2014.
At that point we will withdraw our combat troops.
Leave a smaller force for Americans to -- understand our policy in Afghanistan for training purposes.
It seems to be the key question here is.
What do you do if the deadline arrives and it is obvious the Afghans or on able to him -- -- -- security.
Do we still leave I believe governor Romney the -- Well we're gonna be finished by 2014.
And when I'm president will make sure we bring our troops out by the end of 2014.
The commanders in the generals there are on track to do so.
We've seen progress over the past several years the surge has been successful.
And the training program is proceeding apace there are now.
That a large number of Afghan security forces 350000.
That are are are ready to step in to provide security and and we're going to be able to make that transition by the end of a 2014.
So our troops -- come home at that point.
I can't tell you at the same time.
That that we will make sure that it would we we look at what's happening in Pakistan.
And recognize that what's happening in Pakistan is gonna have a major impact on the success.
It in Afghanistan.
And I say that because I know a lot of people this feel like we -- this brush your hands and walk away and I don't mean you Mr.
President but some people and that it -- and our nation.
-- feel that Pakistan is being nice to us and that we should just walk away from them that Pakistan is important to the region of the world and us.
Because Pakistan has.
A hundred nuclear warheads.
And they're rushing to build a lot more they'll have more the Great Britain sometime in the in the relatively near future they also have the -- Haqqani Network and and the Taliban.
It existent within their country and so -- Pakistan that falls apart becomes a failed state would be of extraordinary danger.
To Afghanistan and to us and so we're gonna have to remain.
Helpful in encouraging Pakistan to move towards a a a more stable government and and rebuild -- relationship with us and that means that.
That that our aid that we provide to Pakistan is gonna have to be conditioned upon certain.
And benchmarks being met.
So for me I look at this as both -- they need to help.
Move Pakistan in the right direction and also to get Afghanistan.
Too good to be ready and they will be ready by the end of 2004 -- -- -- when I came in the office we were still bogged done in Iraq.
And Afghanistan had been drifting for a decade.
We ended the war -- refocused our attention.
On Afghanistan and we did deliver a surge of troops that was facilitated in part because we had ended.
The war in Iraq and we are now in a position where we have met many in the objectives that got us there in the first place.
Part of what would happen as we've forgotten why we've gone.
We -- because.
There were people who are responsible for 3000 American deaths.
And so we decimated.
Al qaeda's core leadership in the border regions between -- Afghanistan baucus.
We then it started to build up Afghan forces.
And we're now in a position where we can transition out.
Because there's no reason why Americans.
Should die when Afghans are perfectly capable of defending their own country.
-- that transitions has to take place in a responsible fashion.
We've been there a long time we've got to make sure that.
We -- our coalition partners.
Are pulling out responsibly and giving Afghans have capabilities that they meet.
But what I think the American people recognize this after a decade of war it's time to do this nation building here at -- And what we can -- do is free up some resources.
To for example put.
Americans back to work especially our veterans rebuilding our roads our bridges.
Making sure that you know our veterans are getting the care that they need when it comes to post traumatic stress disorder.
And a traumatic brain injury making sure that the certifications.
Need for good jobs of the future are -- I was having lunch with some a veteran Minnesota.
Who had been a medic.
-- dealing with the most extreme circumstances.
When he came home anyone to become a nurse get the start from scratch.
And what we've said is what's changed those certifications.
The first -- done great work with the organization called joining forces putting our veterans back to work.
And and as consequence veterans and unemployment is actually now lower than the general population it was higher when I came in office so those are the kinds of things that.
We can now do because we're making that transition in Afghanistan.
All right let me go to governor Romney.
Because you talk about it Pakistan and what needs to be done there general -- Our commander in Afghanistan says that Americans continue to die at the hands of groups who are supported by Pakistan.
We know that Pakistan has arrested the Doctor Who helped us petrol -- -- bin Laden.
It still provides safe haven for terrorists.
Yet we continue to give Pakistan billions of dollars.
Is it time for us to divorce Pakistan.
Now it's not time to divorce.
A nation on earth that has -- hundred.
Nuclear weapons and is on the -- to double that at some point a nation that has as serious threats from.
The terror group terrorist groups within this nation.
As I indicated before the Taliban Haqqani Network.
It's a nation it's not like it like others in the does not have a civilian leadership that is calling the shots there you've got the guy aside their intelligence organization is probably the most powerful of the above three branches there than -- -- the military and then you have the the civilian government.
This is a big nation which if it falls apart.
If it if it becomes a failed state.
There nuclear weapons there.
And you've got you've got terrorists there who could grabbed their their hands -- of those nuclear weapons that this is that this is an important.
Part of the world force -- Pakistan is is that technically an ally.
And and they're not acting very much like an ally right now but we have some work to do and I I don't blame the administration for.
The fact that that her relationship with Pakistan -- strained.
We we had a going to Pakistan we had to go in there to get a -- -- that was -- right thing to do.
And and that upset them but that was obviously a great deal of anger even before that.
But we're gonna have to work with that with -- the people in Pakistan to try and help them move to a more responsible.
-- course than the one that -- on and it's important for them it's important for the nuclear weapons it's important for the success of Afghanistan because inside Pakistan.
An at large with pashtuns that are that are Taliban that they're gonna come rushing back again to Afghanistan when we go.
That's one of the reasons the Afghan security forces have so much work to do.
To be able to fight against that but but it's important for us to recognize that we can't just walk away from Pakistan.
But we do need to make sure that as weak as we send support for them.
That that this is tied to them making progress on on matters that would lead them to becoming a civil society.
But they ask you governor because we know president Obama's position on this what is it what it sure position on the use of homes.
Well I believe that we should use any and all means necessary to take out people who put a pose a threat to us and our friends around the world.
And it's widely reported that drones are being used in drone strikes and I support that entirely.
And feel the president was right to up the usage of that technology and believe that we should continue to use it to continue to go after the people who represented a threat to this nation.
And to our friends let me also note that as I said earlier we're gonna have to do more than just going after leaders in and killing bad guys.
Important as that is.
We're also gonna have to have a far more effective and comprehensive strategy to help move the world away from terror and Islamic extremism.
We haven't done that yet.
We talk a lot about these things but you look at that the record you look at the record of the last four years and say.
Is Iran closer to a bomb yes he is a Middle East and -- yes he is it it is al-Qaeda on the run.
On its heels now.
It is our our Israel and the Palestinians closer to reaching a peace agreement -- -- they haven't had talks in two years.
We have not seen the progress we need to have and I'm convinced that -- strong leadership.
And an effort to build a strategy.
Based upon helping these nations reject extremism we can see the kind of peace and prosperity the world demands.
What can remind.
Our strategy wasn't -- going after -- a lot.
We've created partnerships.
Throughout the region to deal -- extremists in Somalia and Yemen.
In pocket stuff.
And what we've also done is engaged these governments in the kind of reforms that are actually -- to make a difference in people's lives day -- day.
To make sure that their governments are corrupt.
To make sure bet they are treating women with the kind of respect and dignity that every nation that succeeds -- shelf.
And to make sure that they've got a free market system.
That works so across the board we are engaging them in building capacity in these countries and we've stood on the side of democracy.
Met one thing I think Americans should be -- up.
Went to lesions began to protest.
My administration stood win them earlier than just about any other country.
In Egypt we stood on the side of democracy in Libya we stood on the side of the people and as a consequence.
There is no doubt that attitudes about Americans.
But they're always -- be elements in these countries that potentially threaten the United States and we want to shrink.
Those groups and those networks and we can do that.
But were always also gonna have to maintain vigilance when it comes to terrorist activities the truth though is that al-Qaeda.
Is much weaker than it was when I came in office and they don't have the same capacities to attack the US homeland.
And our allies as they did four years ago that let's go.