Where was Afghanistan?

Here’s sentence that I don’t usually type:  Bill Kristol has a point.  In a post the other day called What War? he noted:

Over two thousand Americans have died in the more than ten years of that war, a war Mitt Romney has supported. Yet in his speech accepting his party’s nomination to be commander in chief, Mitt Romney said not a word about the war in Afghanistan.

Really, that is pretty remarkable.  Granted, most Americans have tuned out the war (and, to point the finger at myself, this omission did not occur to me in my initial reaction to the speech).  Still, given the significance of the policy, both looking back and going forward, it really is something that deserved attention from a man who wants to be the CINC.

Of course, Romney’s opening act mentioned it.  In his address to the empty chair, Clint Eastwood noted:

I know you were against the war in Iraq, and that’s okay. But you thought the war in Afghanistan was OK. You know, I mean — you thought that was something worth doing. We didn’t check with the Russians to see how did it — they did there for 10 years.

But we did it, and it is something to be thought about, and I think that, when we get to maybe — I think you’ve mentioned something about having a target date for bringing everybody home. You gave that target date, and I think Mr. Romney asked the only sensible question, you know, he says, “Why are you giving the date out now? Why don’t you just bring them home tomorrow morning?”

Of course:  Romney supported said war as well, and last time I checked was not calling for an immediate withdrawal.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Afghanistan War, US Politics, , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. There are two reasons why Afghanistan is not being discussed in this campaign, by either of the candidates. First, the voters don’t want to hear about it. Second, we’re already on track to withdraw and that will happen regardless of who wins the Presidential Election.

    I would expect that there will be similar silence about the war next week in Charlotte.

  2. bill says:

    i wonder if obama will speak of it next week- he supports it as well. $50 says he doesn’t! and for those who don’t remember why we’re there- nearly everyone approved of us going there, it’s when the causalities/costs start that the weak stomached folks get queasy. not to downplay anyone’s’ sacrifice but we lost more than 2,000 troops in a few hours at Normandy beach nearly 70 yrs ago.

  3. Tony W says:

    And we won’t be talking seriously about the plight of the warrior-class unless we bring back the military draft, an idea no rent-seeking donor would allow their bought-and-paid-for politician to propose.

    So we send to war those among us who have no other options – those whom society would like to pretend don’t exist anyway. It’s perfect, the warriors get something useful to do that is respected by many Americans, and we don’t have to get our hands dirty.

  4. bill says:

    @Tony W: we have a “volunteer” military, those who actually want to be there. “drafts” suck as the military get’s stuck with whiners who wish they were elsewhere and get in the way. sure, we get some who just want to get a free education or to get away from society, but in the end we get the right people.