Positions of the Republican candidates, in brief

By Calvin Woodward

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 17 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Santorum: Defends creation of Homeland Security Department. Voted to reauthorize Patriot Act. Says airport screeners should employ profiling; "Muslims would be someone you'd look at, absolutely." Supports continued use of Guantanamo Bay detention but says Americans accused of being enemy combatants should have right to challenge indefinite detention in court. Says waterboarding has proved effective.


Gingrich: Supported Iraq war and opposed early withdrawal. Said U.S. forces should not have been used in Libya campaign, after he had called for such intervention. Opposes "precipitous" pullout from Afghanistan.

Paul: Bring most or all troops home from foreign posts "as quick as the ships could get there." Opposed U.S. intervention in Libya. Cut Pentagon budget.

Perry: Alone among the candidates, has said he "would send troops back into Iraq" to prevent Iran from infiltrating and taking control of the country. Criticized Obama for announcing withdrawal of troops from Iraq by end of 2011 and for president's timetable for withdrawal in Afghanistan, but has not said how many troops should remain or for how long.

Romney: Has not specified the troop numbers behind pledge to ensure the "force level necessary to secure our gains and complete our mission successfully" in Afghanistan.

Santorum: Says he would order bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities unless they were opened for international arms inspectors. Proposes freezing defense spending for five years.

Associated Press writers Brian Bakst and Chris Tomlinson contributed to this report.

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