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 simply do not believe that we can establish a lasting westernized democracy in a society that has been based on tribal cultural ties for centuries. Furthermore, the mountainous terrain in Afghanistan, as well as the porous and uncontrolled border region with Northern Pakistan, makes control of this area exceedingly difficult. Iraq's terrain and culture were and are much more suited to these types of operations. I still believe that there was much strategic value to establishing a friendly Iraqi government in a critical region of the world that includes Iran, Syria, Israel, and others. While I acknowledge the significance of Pakistan’s possession of, by some estimates, as many as 100 nuclear weapons, I just don't believe that control of Afghanistan has the same strategic value.
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.