In the face of President Obama’s Tuesday announcement that all but 9,800 troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of this year, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer wondered why he ever sent more troops to the shattered nation in the first place.
“Why?” he asked the president while on a Fox News panel. “What do you achieve with the tripling of troops and the large number of deaths that resulted?”
“Special Report” host Bret Baier had earlier asked Krauthammer why he was criticizing President Obama for pulling troops out of Afghanistan prematurely when the majority of the American people wanted the United States out of the war-ravaged nation altogether.
“Well one of the reasons for that,” the columnist replied, “is if you get zero leadership from the president, Americans are always going to want to be away from war, not engage in war, or withdraw from war.”
“We’re not a warlike people,” Krauthammer continued. “War is a terrible endeavor, and it requires a commitment of the president. If there’s none — and the president has not made a single speech of any importance since the December ‘109’ speech on Afghanistan — of course there’ll be no support.”
More forcefully, Krauthammer called into question the entire point of the last few years of the war, which escalated dramatically after Obama ordered a troop surge in late 2009.
“Three of every four Americans who died in Afghanistan have died in the Obama years, when he’s been commander-in-chief,” he noted. “It’s been his war. It’s been six years. It’s not a war that somehow others started against the will of Americans, and he had to continue. He chose!”
“And the question history’s going to ask of him: Why?” Krauthammer asked. “What did you achieve with the tripling of troops and the large number of deaths that resulted?”