The Republican Presidential hopefuls are simultaneously out-hawking and out-doving President Obama on Afghanistan.

In an interview Monday on NBC’s “Today” show, Mr. Santorum, long among the most hawkish Republican candidates on Afghanistan, signaled that it was time to review America’s options. One option, he said, was to leave even sooner than called for in the timeline laid out by the Obama administration, which would turn over security to Afghan forces by 2014 and end the leading combat role for American troops by next year.
“We have to either make the decision to make a full commitment, which this president has not done, or we have to decide to get out, and probably get out sooner,” Mr. Santorum said.”
One day earlier, Mr. Gingrich, who had previously voiced concern over the direction of the Afghan war, declared on “Face the Nation” that it was time to leave the country.
“We need to understand that our being in the middle of countries like Afghanistan is probably counterproductive,” Mr. Gingrich said. “We’re not prepared to be ruthless enough to force them to change. And yet we are clearly an alien presence.”
He added on “Fox News Sunday” that he feared the mission was one “that we’re going to discover is not doable.”

The phrase that pays here, from Mr. Newt Gingrich “We’re not prepared to be ruthless enough”.

And cue this item:

The comments by Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Santorum came after news that a United States Army sergeant was suspected of walking off his base in southern Afghanistan and killing 16 Afghan civilians, many of them children.

This is one of the components to Obama’s sudden slide in approval numbers — so perhaps he has a point on the American public psyche opinion.  If American opinion could be tied to approve or accept this — Newt would be all “Full Speed Ahead”.
It bears mentioning, Obama’s Afghan policy has always seemed in part an effort to out-hawk flank against his out-dove visa vie Iraq and the “Dumb War”… politically speak-wise.

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