While Johnson was originally a supporter of American military action in Afghanistan, he now believes that we should leave Afghanistan immediately, especially since the death of Osama Bin Laden. He is against the idea that America should involve itself with the nation-building process of another country, citing the massive strain it places on our own economy.
“Well, initially, Afghanistan was totally warranted. We were attacked. We attacked back. That's what our military is for. We should remain vigilant to the terrorist threat. But after being in Afghanistan for six months I think we effectively wiped out al Qaeda. And here it is, we are there 10 years later. We're building roads, schools, bridges, highways and hospitals and borrowing 43 cents out of every dollar to do that.”
27 May, 2011: Johnson on Fox News Hannity.
I would get out. I would get out of Afghanistan immediately. I think that initially, that it was totally warranted. We were attacked, we attacked back. But I think that having been in Afghanistan for six months, we wiped out Al Qaida. And that was 11 years ago. I’m thinking we should extricate ourselves from the conflicts we’re currently engaged in. I was opposed to Iraq also before we went in. When Obama announced the very highly publicized, “Hey, I’m going to take a look at Afghanistan for the next four weeks,” or whatever it was, I thought, “Man, we’re out of Afghanistan,” and he ended up doubling down.
February 23, 2011: Johnson in an interview with Tom Jackson, Sandusky Register
“We got Osama bin Laden. Let’s get out of Afghanistan.”
May 5, 2011: Johnson speaking at a tea party rally in Greenville, South Carolina
“Get out tomorrow… We should have gotten out of Afghanistan 11 years ago. Eleven years ago! Romney is saying we should stay in Afghanistan until the mission is accomplished. What does that mean?”
April 4, 2012: Gary Johnson, the anti-war 2012 candidate, Politico