On Tuesday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer reacted to President Barack Obama’s announcement earlier in the day of his plans Tuesday to withdraw all combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016.
“I think it’s worse than a political act to announce the leaving,” Krauthammer said. “It’s kind of an act of personal narcissism. When this was talk about a few months ago in the press, there was a mention of the fact that if the full withdrawal happened in 2016, that would allow Obama to leave office having fulfilled a promise to liquidate the wars. I mean, is that how we’re now setting the strategy of the United States of America – in a war zone where so many have died and so much treasure and blood has been spent so a president can leave office looking good? It’s certainly been designed as has been suggested by Kelly Ayotte and others to help the Democrats in the 2016 election, but why would you announce it in the first place?”
“The greatest success we had in the post-war era, the post-wars era were in Japan, Korea and Germany, where we still have troops 60-70 years after the war,” he continued. “You don’t announce a withdrawal or a liquidation. Obama justified the leaving of the 10,000 behind and he said it in his speech today, so that we don’t lose the gains made with such sacrifice by the soldiers who have serve here. And then looking at Iraq, where he liquidated it and all the gains have been dissipated, he’s essentially saying Afghanistan will be in the same spot two years later. The Taliban will wait the extra two years. Why would you announce it in advance even if you intended that and why wouldn’t you reexamine the condition of country in a year or two after that and/or let next the administration decide if we should keep a small residual force that will elect the future of the country and redeem at least some of the sacrifice of the troops who died there.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor