Romney averse to surge troop pullout
WASHINGTON (PAN): Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has pledged to successfully complete security transition in Afghanistan by 2014, lambasting the Obama administration’s Afghan policy.
“I have been critical of the president's decision to withdraw the surge troops during the fighting season against the advice of commanders on the ground,” Romney said in a major foreign policy speech in Nevada on Tuesday.
The president would have one believe that anyone who disagreed with his decision was arguing for an endless war. But the route to more war attacks at home was a politically-timed retreat, he noted.
“As president, my goal in Afghanistan will be to complete successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014. And I'll evaluate conditions on the ground and solicit the best advice of our military commanders. And I will affirm that my duty is not to my political prospects, but to the security of the nation and the safety of our troops.
“I will make clear to President Hamid Karzai that our commitment must be met with reciprocal efforts to crack down on corruption in his government, respect free and fair elections as required by the Afghan constitution and coordinate with the US on fighting the narcotics trade that fuels the insurgency,” he added.
According to a fact-sheet issued by his campaign, Romney will cease Obama’s practice of politicising decisions on troop levels and transition timetables. Romney, in his first 100 days, will order a full interagency review of transition in Afghanistan.
“He will review our military and assistance presence to determine the level required to secure our gains and to train Afghan forces to the point where they can protect the sovereignty of Afghanistan on their own. Withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan under a Romney administration will be based on conditions on the ground as assessed by our military commanders,” the fact-sheet said.
But Vice President Joe Biden was quick in blasting the Afghan policy articulated by Romney. In a statement, he said Romney supported Obama’s timeline to end the war in Afghanistan, then he opposed it and “now it is hard to know where he stands”.
The statement added: “His misguided criticism of the president’s new defense strategy is undermined by the fact that strategy was designed with and supporte
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.