Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman generally has positioned himself as the GOP field’s most moderate member. But in excerpts of a foreign policy address he’s giving today, the former Utah governor threatens Iran with attack if it successfully pursues nuclear weapons, Politico
"I cannot live with a nuclear-armed Iran. If you want an example of when I would use American force, it would be that," Huntsman says.
He has voiced such a view previously, telling New Hampshire's WMUR radio station: "What do you do when Iran all of a sudden develops a weapon of mass destruction over the near year to year and a half? . . . Now, if ever there was a reason to consider using U.S. force, it would be in pursuit of situations like that."
But most of Huntsman’s prepared remarks are more moderate. He repeats his call for an end to the war in Afghanistan and says the United States should "right-size our current foreign entanglements."
Huntsman seeks "more agility, more intelligence, and more economic engagement" in foreign policy, rather than "simply advocating more ships, more troops, and more weapons."
On the issue of defense spending, Huntsman says, “A re-examination of America’s role in the world also requires a reexamination of our military and defense infrastructure. It may surprise some people to learn that we spend more on defense today than at the height of the Cold War. Indeed, we spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined.”
The country is stuck with a top-heavy military structure created during the Cold War, Huntsman says. “It needs to be transformed to reflect the 21st-century world, and the growing asymmetric threats we face,” he argues. For example, counterterrorism needs to be a much larger part of our foreign policy. We must be prepared to respond to threats — from al-Qaida and other terrorist cells — that emanate from a much more diverse geography, including Yemen, the Horn of Africa, Pakistan and the Asia-Pacific.”
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