In the final (thankfully) debate, foreign policy was at the forefront of the discussion — an issue over which Romney has proved himself to either be “Mr. Etch-a-Sketch” or totally clueless. Perhaps it’s due to 17 out of Romney’s 24 foreign policy advisers all being from neocon-heavy Sovietologists of the Bush regime, but when you hear Romney speak of Russia being a geopolitical foe, you would think he wants to increase our nuclear stockpile to bring down Ivan Drago from Rocky IV.
But on the issue of Afghanistan–America’s longest and forgotten war–Romney was in etch-a-sketch mode as his policy considerations were in full agreement with President Obama’s.
Previously, Romney stated that “I will listen to the generals and receive the input of those who are the commanders in the field, and then I would make the –- my own decision,” he said, which also happens to be exactly what President Obama did. [10/10/11] (Think Progress). But during the debate, Romney recently echoed his call for a “complete a successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014.” This, of course, is and has been Obama’s policy and the current military strategy in Afghanistan.
The war in Afghanistan and the subsequent nation-building has taxpayers $443 billion from 2001-2001, according to Congressional Research Office, and taken the lives of 2,000 of our fighting brave men and women. So maybe horses and bayonets–a sarcastic response made by President Obama with regards to Romney wanting an obsolete and reactionary military apparatus–would have been a more apt choice since it would have at least been a whole lot cheaper. The fact remains that President Obama helped engineer a bold mission that resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden, which was the whole (and just under “Just War Theory”) intent of us being there in the first place; that is, to redress the calamity of 9/11, hold the scumbags responsible for the attack and bring them to justice and/or kill them. Further, to uproot al-Qaeda from the war-torn country of Afghanistan.
Of course there was one key moment the debate when President Obama brought up Mitt’s“It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person,” which was done in order to demonstrate Romney’s lack of conviction and core in bringing down the man responsible for 3,000 American lives on 9/11 and it did illustrate a key difference.
In brief, our mission was never to stick around, let private contractors party, and police a country beset by years of tribalism. Don’t believe me, then just ask Genghis Khan, Britain, and Russia how well foreign forces do in Afghanistan. Even though Romney has surrounded himself by every single one of the horribly misguided neocons of the Bush era; that is, the ones who wanted Iraq from day one and abandoned the just fight in Afghanistan to pursue a petty vendetta and personal commerce war in Iraq. Romney at least appeared to have the exact same policy on Afghanistan as Obama. Of course, this could change during the next nanosecond.
Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, produces a chapter of Laughing Liberally, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle Media. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and like NJ Laughing Liberally Lab if you love political humor from a progressive point-of-view. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you a photo of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong.