Afghanistan ‘a war of Obama’s choos­ing,’ says GOP chair­man

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION -

WASHINGTON — GOP leader Michael Steele drew crit­i­cism from within his own party Fri­day, in­clud­ing calls for him to re­sign as chair­man of the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee, over com­ments he made that ap­pear to ques­tion the Afghan war.

Video that emerged Fri­day shows Steele re­fer­ring to the 9-year-old con­flict as “a war of Obama’s choos­ing” and im­ply­ing that it is doomed to fail.

“If he’s such a stu­dent of his­tory,” Steele said of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, “has he not un­der­stood that, you know, that’s the one thing you don’t do — is en­gage in a land war in Afghanistan? Ev­ery­one who has tried, over a thou­sand years of his­tory, has failed.

“This was a war of Obama’s choos­ing,” he said Thurs­day at a Con­necti­cut Repub­li­can Party fundraiser. “This is not some­thing the United States has ac­tively pros­e­cuted or wanted to en­gage in.”

Con­ser­va­tive Bill Kris­tol, writ­ing for The Weekly Stan­dard, was among the first Repub­li­cans to say Steele should re­sign over his com­ments about the war launched by for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush in re­sponse to the ter­ror­ist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Look­ing to mit­i­gate the po­lit­i­cal fall­out Fri­day, Steele is­sued a state­ment say­ing, “The stakes are too high for us to ac­cept any­thing but suc­cess in Afghanistan.”

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