George Will: Time to Pull Back from Afghanistan

Aug 31, 2009 6:19pm

Mike Allen reports in Politico today that George Will’s next column will call for U.S. ground troops to leave Afghanistan.

But you don’t have to wait.  That’s exactly the point he made on the August 23rd ‘This Week.’

The transcript is below. Or you can watch the exchange HERE.

STEPHANOPOULOS: For the first time, this month, a majority of Americans now say, you see the lines crossed, that the war in Afghanistan is not worth fighting. And when you ask the question about more troops, going back to January, 34% of Americans thought there should be more troops.  Now, it’s down to
24%….And then the number who think the troop number should be decreased, has actually increased a lot.  So, we’re seeing now a real flip in where Americans are.  By about 2-1, they don’t want more troops.

GEORGE WILL: But our strategy is troop-intensive, that is, it is to clear, hold and build.  Build means nation building.  There was a story in the paper this morning about Afghans coming up to Marines in Helmand Province.  There are 11,000 marines in a province the size of West Virginia.  And they’re
saying, we want you to fix our irrigation systems. That’s not what the Marine Corps does.  The Marine Corps isn’t a nation-building outfit. Clear, hold, build. They can’t hold it because they can’t stay there.
And when they leave, the Taliban comes back.  Therefore, what’s the point in clearing?  I think the American people are right about this.

…..The President says this is a war of necessity, not of choice.  If it’s a necessity that is because we dare not have a failed state in Afghanistan that becomes a camp for al Qaeda.  The same argument would have us in and fighting and nation building in the Yemen and Somalia.


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