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Bachmann Criticizes Obama’s Withdrawal Timeline for Afghanistan

9:34 AM, Jun 30, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann criticized President Obama's plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan yesterday in an interview with NPR's Mara Liasson.

Michele Bachmann

LIASSON: What about Afghanistan? Do you think the president is pulling out too fast? What would a President Bachmann do about Afghanistan?

BACHMANN: This was a major move on the part of President Obama. And clearly, it seems to me, the president said that this was a war of necessity in Afghanistan. Now it seems to be the politics of necessity. And it appears for President Obama that he is acting more on political strategy than military strategy. That's very concerning, because it also seems that this is more the Obama-Biden plan for early withdrawal, as opposed to the Petraeus plan. Gen. Petraeus, who's in charge of winning the war effort in Afghanistan, understands that we need to win the war on terror. We must never forget that 9/11 was hatched in the caves and the mountains of Afghanistan. The Taliban has a presence there. Al-Qaida has a presence there. We must defeat them in their backyard. And it's important that Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Allen have the resources that they need to be successful in southern Afghanistan and then also in eastern Afghanistan, so —

LIASSON: So you think he's pulling out too fast.

BACHMANN: I think that the president needs to follow what the advice is to be successful. Let me tell you this: as president of the United States, I would — knowing that we have a war hero like Gen. Petraeus — I would call Gen. Petraeus into my office. We would have a very short conversation. It would be something like this: It would be, "General, how quickly can we conclude the war in Afghanistan?" No. 2, "What do you need?" And I would, I would trust his judgment. He wrote the book on counterinsurgency. He turned around the war effort in Iraq. We need to trust him on Afghanistan. Simply because he's demonstrated results. With the resources he's had, he's demonstrated positive results, particularly in southern Afghanistan. But let's remember, if we pull out now, we could cause all of the advances we've made to collapse. And we have to remember, the greatest treasure we've expended in Afghanistan has been the blood of our soldiers. Not to mention the resources of the American people to be able to provide the assets required. So let's be as successful as we possibly can in Afghanistan. Let's not undermine those efforts — Gen. Allen's job is far more difficult now, I believe, because of President Obama's early withdrawal timeline.

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