Cruz believes the decision to keep troops in Afghanistan should depend on the mission.
CHUCK TODD: I want to move to foreign policy; The Afghanistan decision by the President; In favor of it?
TED CRUZ: Well listen it’s recognition that what the President has been saying for years that Al-Qaeda is decimated was never true, that it was political spin. The reality is we live in an incredibly dangerous world and sadly the failures of the Obama/Clinton foreign policy have made the dangers greater.
TODD: If you become President though are you going to keep this policy in place of keeping those troops there in Afghanistan?
CRUZ: It will depend on the mission. I don’t believe we should be engaged in nation building. I don’t believe we should be trying to transform foreign countries into democratic utopias, trying to turn Iraq into Switzerland. But I do think it is the job of our military to protect this country, to hunt down and kill jihadists who would murder us and so the judgment about Afghanistan needs to be driven by military circumstances on the ground of where we need to be to be able to project power and take out Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra, to take out…
TODD: So you’re a counter-terrorism guy. You’re basically saying you’ll have smaller footprints to do counter-terrorism but you’re not going to have big troop deployment?
CRUZ: I think that is exactly right and it should be mission driven. And by the way that’s where most American’s are. They want to actually…you know at the last debate I said it’s very simple, that if you elect me we’ll repeal Obamacare, kill the terrorists, and defend the constitution. At the end of the day that’s where most republicans are, it’s where most American’s are and I think it’s basic common sense. Let’s solve the problems, bring back economic growth and jobs and bring back the bill of rights protecting our liberties.
Ted Cruz wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter deploring the sexual abuse of boys by Afghan police officers.
“Our Service Members must observe a demonstrable effort by the Afghan government to eradicate this abuse, or they will continue to perceive a lack of action and feel obligated to intervene personally to prevent the deplorable sexual abuse of children. So long as Americans are expected to fight for the security of the Afghan government, the United States has every right to demand that such action be taken, and if the Afghan government proves unwilling to take the necessary action, then the United States should do so itself or be willing to withdraw our Service Members from this appalling situation,” Sen. Cruz wrote. “The United States of America cannot sit on the sidelines in Afghanistan and allow the deplorable practice of ‘Bacha Bazi’ to continue. To do so would make America complicit in human rights violations of the worst sort and would dishonor the incredible sacrifice our men and women in arms have made on behalf of the Afghan people.”