Huntsman will call to refocus defense in foreign policy speech
October 10th, 2011
06:00 AM ET
11 years ago

Huntsman will call to refocus defense in foreign policy speech

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - In a foreign policy speech Monday, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman will call for a nimbler U.S. military that focuses on modern challenges and would allow for the withdrawal of many troops from Afghanistan within a year.

Huntsman plans to say the United States should not be involved in "nation-building" but should focus on fixing the nation's fiscal problems and making advances in counter-terrorism efforts, according to excerpts released in advance of his speech.

The former ambassador to China will blame President Barack Obama for policies that "weakened America" and "diminished our presence on the global stage."

"We still have remnants of a top-heavy, post-Cold War infrastructure," Huntsman will say, according to the excerpts. "It needs to be transformed to reflect the 21st Century world, and the growing asymmetric threats we face."

Bringing some troops home from Afghanistan would allow the military to better respond to a "direct security threat" or stand by its allies, such as Israel, Huntsman will say. The presidential candidate will cite a nuclear-armed Iran as "an example of when I would use American force," according to the planned remarks.

Huntsman will indirectly swipe the foreign policy plan of his GOP competitor Mitt Romney. In a speech last Friday, Romney said he would reverse "Obama's massive defense cuts" and expand the U.S. warship fleet.

"Simply advocating more ships, more troops, and more weapons is not a viable path forward," Huntsman will say. "We need more agility, more intelligence, and more economic engagement with the world."

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Filed under: 2012 • Foreign Policy • Jon Huntsman
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Drew

    Too late John echoing the empty suit rhetoric of the Mittster won't get you noticed you are better off shadowing Herman Cain. The Republicans can knock Obama till kingdom come but his administration has made significant groud in our defense and whether you guys believe in it or not it's true. The draw down in Afghanistan is way past due but you can't pull us out in a day not logistically or financially wake up John it's nearly too late.

    October 10, 2011 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  2. midwestrail

    Sadly, Huntsman doesn't stand a chance of being nominated. He lacks the evangelical christian bona fides that have become the new prerequisite demanded by party extremists. Voices of reason are now dismissed, and somehow nincompoops like Bachmann are held up as viable candidates.

    October 10, 2011 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  3. T'sah from Virginia

    Every candidate from the RIGHT wants to set their own "foreign policies." No wonder our American soldiers fighting in our wars are claiming BOTH wars, Irag and Afghanistan" is a total WASTE of TIME!!! They get so many cross signals from our very own – "the POLITICIANS" – from the far-RIGHT/RIGHT who doesn't even have the heart to repudiate an audience that LAUGHS at a gay soldier... We're in trouble from all sides if any of these morons get elected!!! And I kind of like Huntsman but he still falls preys to the same rhetoric from the crazies!!!

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 10, 2011 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  4. bearced

    Sorry Mr. Huntsman, It was Bush that "weakened America" and "diminished our presence on the global stage."

    October 10, 2011 07:42 am at 7:42 am |