Both Joe Biden and Paul Ryan agreed that President Obama should stick with his plan to transition U-S troops out of the country by the end of 20-14.
But they disagreed on how quickly those troops should leave -- and what should happen in the meantime.
Ryan: Yes we drew 22-thousand troops down last month. But the remaining troops who still have the same mission to prosecute counterinsurgency are doing it with less people. That makes them less safe. We're sending fewer people out in all these hot spots to do the same job that they were supposed to do a month ago, but we took 22-thousand people out for them to do it.
Biden: That's because we turned it over... we turned it over to the Afghan troops we trained. No one got pulled out that didn't get filled in by trained Afghan personnel. And he's conflating two issues. The fighting season that Petraeus was talking about and the former Admiral Mullen -- was the fighting season this Spring. That's what he was talking about. We did not -- we did not pull them out.
Ryan: The calendar works the same every year.
Biden: It does work the same every year.
Ryan: Spring, summer, fall... it's warm or it's not -- they're still fighting us -- they're still coming over the passes. They're still coming in to Zabul to Kunar, to all of these areas. But we are sending fewer people to the front to fight them and that's not safe.
Biden: That's right, that's because that's the Afghan responsibility. We've trained them.
Ryan: Not in the East.
Moderator: Let's move to another war.
Biden: Not in the East!?
Ryan: That's right... RCE.
Biden: RCE is the most dangerous place in the world.
Ryan: That's right, that's why we shouldn't send fewer people in to do the job.
Biden: That's why we should send Americans in to do the job? You'd rather Americans do the job than the people we trained?
Ryan: We are already sending Americans to do the job... but fewer of them. That's the problem.
Biden: That's right! We're sending in more Afghans to do the job! Afghans to do the job!
Issues of foreign policy will be at the top of the agenda as President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney go head-to-head again next Tuesday.
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