The only thing Romney says he will not do is let politics play any role in Afghan policy. “Governor Romney will never make national-security decisions based on political considerations,” says Romney spokesman Ryan Williams. “The current president has repeatedly ignored his own military commanders to make military decisions based on politics. What will ensure failure in Afghanistan is if President Obama continues to allow his re-election prospects to affect our strategy. Gov. Romney will make decisions on our transition in Afghanistan based upon conditions on the ground and informed by the best advice of our military commanders.”
A President Romney could withdraw all troops immediately or order them to fight for another decade and not violate that commitment.
The question is whether public opinion — the foundation of politics — will push Romney away from the war as the campaign continues. Perhaps the most powerful immediate factor influencing American opinion on Afghanistan is the growing number of attacks on U.S. forces by the Afghan security forces — our so-called “allies” in the war. Last month, CNN reported that one-third of American troops killed in Afghanistan in 2012 have been killed by Afghan security forces. If that keeps up, public opinion on the war will undoubtedly fall even more.