George Will’s call today to pull US troops out of Afghanistan is tantamount to “urging retreat and accepting defeat,” fellow conservative William Kristol blogs in the Washington Post. Will’s idea to focus mostly on offshore operations and airstrikes "doesn't sound much more engaged than US Afghan policy in the 1990s,” Kristol writes. “Will would have to explain why it would work better this time.”
Will’s dismay at the “inconceivable” number of troops required to perform the mission rings hollow, Kristol writes, as the current plan to expand the Afghan Army will provide “roughly the number of forces necessary to carry out the strategy.” Will’s views on Pakistan are equally wrongheaded, writes Kristol. He calls Pakistan "a nation that actually matters" but never explains how "retreat from Afghanistan would increase rather than decrease the chances of an acceptable outcome" there.