National defense: Where the presidential candidates stand

October 28, 2012 

ON THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

Obama: Committed a surge of 30,000 U.S. troops to help pacify Afghanistan that he says has succeeded in allowing the United States to plan for ending American combat operations there by the end of 2014.

Romney: Says goal is to end U.S. combat operations by 2014, but decision will be "based on conditions on the ground as assessed by our military commanders."

ON THE SIZE OF THE MILITARY

Obama: Criticizes Romney for promoting spending increases the military has not asked for, and accuses him of ignoring advances in technology that allow for cost savings. Says half the money saved from ending the war in Afghanistan will be used "to reduce the deficit and the rest to engage in nation-building here at home."

Romney: Criticizes Obama for not maintaining a larger military, and calls for increased Pentagon spending that analysts say will add up to $2 trillion over the next 10 years. Calls for "full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic missile defense system."

ON IRAN

Obama: Says the economic sanctions his administration has put in place continue to erode Iran's economy and that he will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

Romney: Says the sanctions have not worked and that he would make clear to Iranian leaders that "a military option to deal with their nuclear weapons program is very real and very credible."

ON TERRORISM

Obama: Says the mission to kill Osama bin Laden was critical and that his policy of targeted drone strikes has weakened the al-Qaida leadership.

Romney: Credits Obama for the mission that killed bin Laden but says the president has not done enough to counter extremist movements.

Source: Bee research

Modesto Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service