Kristol: George Will Is Wrong on Afghanistan

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 1, 2009 2:27 PM CDT

(Newser) – 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.

An Afghan youth puts up a poster for International Peace Day during its launching ceremony at the office of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan today.
An Afghan youth puts up a poster for International Peace Day during its launching ceremony at the office of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan today.   (AP Photo)
American Marines enter an 18th century castle captured from the Taliban in Khan Neshin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
American Marines enter an 18th century castle captured from the Taliban in Khan Neshin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo)
US soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade take position next to Sari Ghundi village as they patrol near the Pakistani border, about 63 miles southeast of Kandahar, Afghanistan.
US soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade take position next to Sari Ghundi village as they patrol near the Pakistani border, about 63 miles southeast of Kandahar, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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It is true that we have under-resourced and poorly strategized that fight. The right way to keep faith with our soldiers and Marines is for our national leaders now to support a strategy, and to provide the necessary resources, for victory. - William Kristol

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