“I actually wrote President Bush a letter before the war started and I said, you know, what I would do is I would use the bully pulpit at this moment of great national unity and, very much in a Kennedy-esque type fashion, say within 10 years we’re going to become petroleum independent, and that would’ve been much more effective than going to war because, first of all, the moderate Arab states would’ve been terrified. And they would’ve handed over Osama Bin Laden and anybody else we wanted on a silver platter to keep us from doing that.
"I personally would not have [gone to war in Afghanistan] because, you know, you’ve got to look at the history of Afghanistan,” he said. “You’ve got 300 tribal leaders throughout the country who have never been united in anything so who are you going to negotiate with? How are you going to achieve peace in a situation like that?”
19 March, 2013: Carson Interview with The Daily Caller
(1:50:09 - 01:54:09)
“I haven’t had an opportunity to weigh in on foreign policy and I just want to mention that when the war, when the issue occurred in 2003 I suggested to President Bush that he not go to war. Okay, so I just want that on the record and you know, a lot of people are very much against us getting involved right now, uh, with global jihadism, they refer back to our invasion of Iraq and they seem to think that that was what caused it. What caused it was withdrawing from there and uh, creating a vacuum. Which allowed this terrible situation to occur, but it’s very different from what’s going on today, we’re talking about global jihadists who actually want to destroy us. They are an existential threat to our nation and we have to be mature enough to recognize that our children will have no future if we put our heads in the sands. We have to recognize we have two choices, we either allow them to continue to progress and continue to appear to be the winners or –inaudible-"
16 September, 2015: Second 2016 GOP Presidential Debate (Full) by CNN-09-16-2015
(Begins at 01:26 – 03:19)
“Well I opposed Iraq and Afghanistan. I thought there were better ways to accomplish our goals…… Yeah, I’ll explain that because Afghanistan does not have a central government, it has 300 tribal leaders. The only success that we have, which were limited, were through our association with the Northern Alliance of tribal leaders. That helped for awhile, that’s sort of dissolved now and what have we really accomplished. Every nation that has gone into Afghanistan to, quote “Tame it” has failed, so that doesn’t mean that we couldn’t take Osama Bin Laden out, it doesn’t mean that we couldn’t take out the terrorist camps, but I don’t see how we could possibly expect that we were going to do what no one else has been able to do….I’m not sure that we attack every government that declares war on us.”
17 September, 2015: Ben Carson speaks about Middle East Policy (Afghanistan) on the O’Reilly Factor
“It really doesn’t matter what they think about it. I don’t formulate my opinions based on what other people think, but the fact of the matter is, you know, with both of those wars, with the Iraqi war, what we needed to do was get rid of Saddam Hussein and there were many good ways to get rid of him without committing ourselves to a horrible war and the best way, you have to take a long term view is to become petroleum independent, if we become petroleum independent, we almost win that war on the terrorist immediately because their funding disappears. We have to begin to think that way rather than bombs and missiles, that’s sort of archaic to be honest with you and as far as Afghanistan is concerned, you know with all those tribal factions there that have been there for centuries, not adhering to any uniform policy, who you going to negotiate with, how are you going to have a peace treaty. It doesn’t work, it hasn’t worked for anybody else it’s not going to work for us. There are other ways to take care of things. The way that we took care of Osama Bin Laden, I approve of that. I approve of using lots of different techniques to accomplish our goals, but they don’t necessarily involve putting our troops in harms way."
21 March, 2013: Ben Carson explains his opposition to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars on CNN The Lead
"Our children will have no future if we put our heads in the sands"
on issues of global jihadist #GOPDebate
16 September, 2015: Ben Carson retweets Megan Kelly's tweet quoting him from the debate