As soon as President Obama set a timetable for getting out of Afghanistan, the Republicans started sharpening their knives.
Under the agreement Obama signed yesterday with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, American troops will stand down from a war footing in 2014, but the U.S. will continue to support Afghanistan through 2024.
Senior administration officials tell the Washington Post that U.S. trainers and Special Operations troops that remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014 will live on bases, sending “a signal to the Taliban that they cannot ‘wait out’ the international presence, which is supporting a fragile Afghan government.”
But former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has virtually no foreign policy experience and had to drop out of the presidential race after failing to beat fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachman, knows better than the team that got Osama bin Laden.
“Gov. (Mitt) Romney said 2014 may be an appropriate timetable, but let’s not announce it ahead of time so those who don’t have America’s interests at heart can plan around it,” said Pawlenty, who is now a surrogate for Romney.
“Don’t give them the blueprint in public, with timelines attached to it. That’s what President Obama has done. Gov. Romney would have taken a different approach and planned and executed those plans in private.”
Is Pawlenty referring to the “quiet” rooms where Romney thinks we should use to talk about economic inequality?