GOP Candidates Refuse to Go Wobbly on Afghanistan
10:51 AM, Mar 19, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The two leading GOP candidates were asked about Afghanistan on the Sunday talk shows yesterday. Both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum gave pretty good responses and refused to go wobbly on Afghanistan.
"Look, what's happening right now is an example of failed leadership," Romney told Fox News Sunday. "The president put out a specific time table for withdrawal for our troops, a time table for the end of combat operations. That is leading Mr. Karzai to take action that is self preservation in nature. The president needs to be more engaged and interacting with -- not only our commanders there but also with leadership in Afghanistan."
Romney also said that "We have real interest in making sure that this ends well and that our mission is successful there of having a Afghanistan that is able to maintain its sovereignty against the Taliban, against ultimately al Qaeda as well."
For Santorum, the U.S. should win in Afghanistan. "Well, I think if you commit to winning and you change the entire dynamic in the region," Santorum said. "You change the dynamic with respect to the Taliban, and you recognize that we're going to stay there and we're going to finish the job."
Santorum also critiqued the policies of the Obama administration. "The bigger issue here is the policy of this administration," the Republican presidential candidate said on ABC's This Week. "The policy of this administration does something you simply can't do if you want to win a war, particularly against a guerrilla insurgence force, and that is give them hope that they can survive. And that's what the president has done from day one that he came into office, where he put a timeline for us to leave Afghanistan. Once you give a timeline, you give the enemy an objective to hold on, to bunker down, if you will, and survive whatever onslaught the United States is going to put forth."
Max Boot, writing in the latest issue of the magazine, warned the Republican candidates not to "go wobbly":
Whole thing here.