THIS WEEK Web Extra: Huntsman on Afghanistan

By Dschabner

Aug 20, 2011 5:52pm

HUNTSMAN: You've got Afghanistan.  That needs to be seriously looked at.  We need to bring people home from Afghanistan.  This should not be a nation-building exercise when we have nation-building to do right here in our own country. This is a counter-terror effort.  We need people in Afghanistan who can collect intelligence, Special Forces capabilities and some element to train the national — the Afghan national troops. But we should not be involved in nation-building.

And we've got to basically call it for what it is and get back to strengthening the core of this country or we are of no value to the rest of the world.  That light, that goodness that traditionally has radiated over the years, that speaks to democracy, that speaks to liberty, that speaks to open markets and human rights. We're not projecting that goodness anymore.  The world always is a better and a safer place with a strong America.  And right now, we don't have a strong America.

TAPPER:  When you were in the Obama administration as a — as an ambassador, did you ever voice these concerns about Afghanistan with anybody on the national security staff or with the secretary of State?

HUNTSMAN:  I didn't — I didn't do Afghanistan.  My — my lane was — was China.  But I had conversations of this kind with a few people, yes.

TAPPER:  Anybody you care to identify?

HUNTSMAN:  No, no one I'd care to identify right now.

– Jake Tapper

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