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Obama, Romney Go Head-To-Head On Afghanistan, Pakistan

Danny Lee |
October 22, 2012 | 7:22 p.m. PDT

Senior Staff Reporter

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama locked horns on foreign policy in the final presidential debate. (Screenshot from debate)
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama locked horns on foreign policy in the final presidential debate. (Screenshot from debate)
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney went back and forth on "America's longest war" during the fifth 15-minute segment devoted to foreign policy in the third and final presidential debate on Monday.

In the debate set in Boca Raton, Fla., moderator Bob Schieffer asked both candidates what they would do if Afghans are not ready to take control of their country by the 2014 U.S. troop withdrawal deadline.

Romney vowed to withdraw troops by 2014 and emphasized how the future well-being of Afghanistan would depend on the stability of Pakistan.

"A Pakistan that falls apart would be a danger to Afghanistan and us," Romney said. "We have to encourage Pakistan to move toward a more stable government."

Obama said the decision to re-focus troops into terrorist hotbeds has allowed the U.S. to decimate Al-Qaeda's core leadership. The president also mentioned the importance of training Afghans to police the country.

"There's no reason why Americans should die when Afghans are capable of defending their own country," Obama said. "We've got to make sure we and our coalition are pulling out and giving Afghans capabilities that they need."

Obama said it is "time to do some nation-building here at home" by devoting resources toward taking care of veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder and helping them find work during life after military service.

Elaborating further on Pakistan, Romney said that nation is "not acting like an ally" to the U.S.

"We have to work with the people of Pakistan to work toward a more responsible course than the one that they're on," he said.

The former Massachusetts governor also voiced support for the president's decision to rev up the use of drones to go after foreign threats.

Obama wrapped up the segment by touting how his administration's efforts to stand with the people during uprisings in Egypt and Libya have bolstered America's standing in the world.

According to a CBS News poll, Obama leads Romney 50 to 41 percent among likely voters when asked who would do a better job on foreign policy.


Reach Senior Staff Reporter Danny Lee here; follow him on Twitter here.



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