Unlike the Republican line on the war in Iraq for the better part of the Bush/Cheney era, GOP leaders aren’t at all on the same page when it comes to the war in Afghanistan.
Here, for example, was the Republican Senate leader today.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he supports the Obama administration’s plans to gradually withdraw troops from Afghanistan, which has come under heavy scrutiny on both the left and right in recent days after an Army staff sergeant killed 16 Afghan civilians Sunday.
“I support the policy the administration has laid out to move toward a transition over the next couple of years,” McConnell, who emphasized he was only offering his own opinion, told reporters Tuesday.
And here was the leading Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, speaking around the same time on the same issue.
The White House’s decision to stick with a 2014 pullout from Afghanistan will only embolden anti-American sentiment in the country and opens the door to terror groups in the region, a top Senate Republican said on Tuesday.
The Obama administration’s plan in Afghanistan “discourages our friends and encourages our enemies,” Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) told reporters.
As Rachel explained on the show last night, concerns about the U.S. policy in Afghanistan are no longer necessarily a partisan or ideological matter. One of the factors driving this diversity of opinions is the fact that prominent Republicans, for the first time in over a decade, no longer even agree with one another about the efficacy of the status quo.
When McConnell and McCain publicly take the opposite position on the war, almost simultaneously, the question becomes, “What is the Republican position on U.S. policy in Afghanistan?” The answer is, “There isn’t one.”