House Rejects Afghanistan Withdrawal Resolution
Bipartisanship in foreign policy.
10:27 AM, Mar 11, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
ANP Training in Logar Province
DoD photo by Sgt. Russell Gilchrest, U.S. Army
Last night, the House rejected a resolution calling for withdrawal from Afghanistan, 65-356. Sixty Democrats voted for withdrawal. Five Republicans joined them. The five GOP votes for withdrawal came from (duh) Ron Paul of Texas, Walter Jones of North Carolina, Tim Johnson of Illinois, John Duncan of Tennessee, and John Campbell of California. Paul, Jones, Johnson, and Duncan all opposed the Iraq surge. Campbell supported it, and as recently as last September said a "precipitous withdrawal" from Afghanistan "would be unwise." In a "Laptop Report" last December, Cambell said:
I'm hoping to speak to Campbell later today and will report back then.
Interestingly, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah, voted to reject the measure, even though he has called for withdrawal in the past.
It's notable that far more Democrats backed withdrawal than Republicans. This isn't a surprise, considering the Democrats are the Peace Party. And yet, despite the constant liberal refrain that conservatives and Republicans are "nihilists" bent on destroying Obama's presidency through a strategy of relentless and all-consuming obstruction, the right supports the president when they think he is, well, right. The war in Afghanistan is a prime example.
This support raises the larger issue of continuity in American foreign policy. Robert Kagan has a new essay on that subject in the latest Foreign Policy:
If Obama continues to shepherd Iraq toward the end-state of a viable Islamic democracy that can protect its citizenry, defend its borders, and ally with the United States against al Qaeda and the jihadists; if he continues to deploy in Afghanistan the same strategy that saved Iraq from destruction and has a decent chance of bringing similar results to that war-torn and desolate country; if he continues relentlessly and effectively to pursue al Qaeda in its Af-Pak home base; and if -- a big if -- he commits to policies that forestall Iranian acquisition of nuclear arms and help bring down that nation's theocratic military dictatorship, he will have an incredibly successful presidency. A presidency that deserves accolades from left, right, and center.
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