POLITICS
10/12/2012 01:23 am ET Updated Oct 12, 2012

Ryan Changes Tone On Foreign Policy In VP Debate (VIDEO)

In Thursday's Vice Presidential Debate, Rep. Paul Ryan struck an aggressive pose on foreign policy, saying the US shouldn't have sought UN approval to take action on behalf of the Syrian rebels, vowing not to let Iran acquire nuclear weaponry, and suggesting that US forces might need to stay in Afghanistan later than the proposed 2014 withdrawal.

Ryan also said more than once that Obama's foreign policy was "unraveling," and that the country shouldn't be cutting defense spending. "When we equivocate on our values...it projects weakness. And when we look weak, our adversaries are more willing to test us."

But Ryan's tone hasn't always been so pugnacious.

Speaking last year to a room full of national security experts at the Alexander Hamilton Society in Washington D.C., Rep. Ryan encouraged America to exercise "a healthy humility about the extent of our power to control events in other regions."

And in late 2009, at a meeting hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, Ryan strongly suggested that increased trade with the Middle East would be a more effective and beneficial strategy than military action to effect positive change in the region.

"The 9/11 commission was very clear," he said. "We need to do other things than simply have wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to fight terrorism, to have an effective counter-terrorism strategy."

Watch the video above to see Ryan's remarks from Thursday and from 2011 and 2009, and decide for yourself if his tone on foreign policy has changed since 2009.

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