We’re going to go into your country unilaterally.” Of course, America always maintains our option to do whatever we think is in the best interests of America. But we don’t go out and say, “Ladies and gentlemen of Germany, if ever there was a problem in your country, we didn’t think you were doing the right thing, we reserve the right to come in and get them out.”
There is also a high probability of continuity when it comes to Pakistan. Indeed, there is a bipartisan consensus in Washington on South Asia: Afghanistan is seen as a waste of American lives and money, Pakistan is a danger in the short and long terms, and India is a strategic counterweight to China, a democracy whose economic and military rise should be encouraged.
"Folks, Governor Romney didn't see things that way. When he was asked about bin Laden in 2007, he said, and I quote, 'It's not worth moving heaven and Earth and spending billions of dollars just to catch one person,' " Biden said to boos from the audience.
"After more than 10 years without justice for thousands of Americans murdered on 9/11 -- after Mitt Romney said it would be 'naive' to go into Pakistan to pursue the terrorists -- it took President Obama, against the advice of many, to give that order to finally rid this earth of Osama bin Laden," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts. "Ask Osama bin Laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago."
“The working relationship between our two countries is a necessary, though sometimes difficult, benefit to both, and we look toward the renewal of historic ties that have frayed under the weight of international conflict,” the platform for the presidential candidate noted.
"We don’t want to just pull up stakes and get out of town after the enormous output we’ve just made for the region. Look at Indonesia in the ’60s. We helped them move toward modernity. We need to help bring Pakistan into the 21st century, or the 20th for that matter. Right now American approval in Pakistan is 12 percent. We’re not doing a very good job with that investment. We could do better by encouraging the opportunities of the West.”
Pakistan should understand that any connection between insurgent forces and Pakistan’s security and intelligence forces must be severed. The United States enjoys significant leverage over both of these nations. We should not be shy about using it.
Mitt Romney will work with both the Afghan government and Pakistan to ensure that those nations are fully contributing to success in Afghanistan. But we will only persuade Afghanistan and Pakistan to be resolute if they are convinced that the United States will itself be resolute.
Withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan under a Romney administration will be based on conditions on the ground as assessed by our military commanders.Ensure Buy-In from Afghan and Pakistani GovernmentsTo defeat the insurgency in Afghanistan, the United States will need the cooperation of both the Afghan and Pakistani governments.
The Romney camp also spells out the nominee’s views on Afghanistan more clearly than has been done previously:
President Obama has convinced all parties — both our partners and our enemies — that his objective is to leave Afghanistan by a date certain, regardless of the conditions on the ground. This message has led our Afghan and Pakistani partners to doubt our resolve and hedge their bets rather than fully cooperate with us. And this message has encouraged the Taliban to believe that they can wait us out.