Running Strong, Ron Paul Questions U.S. Troop Presence in S. Korea, Japan, Germany

December 28, 2011 - 3:42 PM

Ron Paul

Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, speaks during a campaign stop at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential contender Ron Paul is back in Iowa, running strongly in the polls and questioning why U.S. troops are in Korea and other parts of the world.

In an appearance Wednesday in Newton, Paul strongly suggested U.S. forces be withdrawn from South Korea, Japan and Germany, and made the audience laugh when he questioned President Barack Obama's decision to send Marines to Australia.

The 76-year-old Paul said American troops have been in Korea since he was in high school. He omitted any mention of the death of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il and the uncertainty it's causing in Asia.

Obama's recent announcement that some Marines will be stationed in Australia was seen as a signal to China that the U.S. intends to maintain a presence in the Pacific.