GOP contenders argue on Afghanistan, Iran, torture

Unsparing in their criticism of President Barack Obama, Republican presidential hopefuls disagreed in campaign debate Saturday night about the right course in Afghanistan, the use of waterboarding and the wisdom of a pre-emptive military strike to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon.

“If we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if you elect Mitt Romney, Iran will not have a nuclear weapon,” vowed the former Massachusetts governor.

On waterboarding, Herman Cain and Rep. Michele Bachmann both said they would reinstate the technique designed to simulate drowning. Cain went one step further, adding that he would leave it up to military leaders _ rather than their civilian superiors _ to decide what forms of interrogation amount to torture, which he said he opposes.

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