Romney, Huntsman spar over Afghanistan policy

November 22, 2011 - 10:00 PM
Republicans Debate

Republican presidential candidates from left, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, businessman Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman stand for the National Anthem before a Republican presidential debate in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman says the United States has achieved important goals in Afghanistan and that it's time to bring home most of the military forces to focus on rebuilding the American economy.

During the foreign policy debate Tuesday night among GOP candidates for president, Huntsman said he would leave behind as many as 15,000 forces to help Afghans maintain their security.

Huntsman's view is at odds with rival Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor says the United States has a role to help Afghanistan so terrorists don't take control.

Romney also says that the U.S. has a responsibility to finish what it started in Afghanistan.