Paul Ryan attacks Afghanistan drawdown: ‘They’re still fighting’

October 1, 2012

GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan had some sharp criticism for President Obama on Afghanistan Monday morning, telling conservative radio host Laura Ingraham that the president put political considerations before national security with his decision to draw down tens of thousands of “surge” troops during the height of the fighting season.

“They just pulled about 22,000 troops in September -- which to me is a political decision to have a drawdown before an election -- but we're still giving our soldiers the same mission, the same counter-insurgency mission,” Ryan told Ingraham.

He added: “They're still fighting. We pulled out 22,000 while our people are being shot at and we're sending fewer people out to do the same job, which makes them less safe. That politicization of these decisions is something we would never do. We would never put politics ahead of what our commanders say is necessary to do the job and keep our soldiers as safe as possible when they're prosecuting this war.”

The argument is one that the GOP ticket has made before, but Ryan’s interview Monday represented some of his harshest criticism of Obama on the issue to date.

The drawdown is in keeping with Obama's timetable to pull out all conventional combat forces by the end of 2014, a withdrawal date Romney and Ryan both support

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Felicia Sonmez · October 1, 2012