Just hours after President Obama’s surprise visit to Kabul to address the nation on the state of the Afghan war, former Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday criticized him for putting “arbitrary deadlines” on the Afghan drawdown, rather than setting tangible conditions for the U.S. withdrawal.
“Of course it’s appropriate for the president to visit our troops in Afghanistan,” said the former Minnesota governor, who endorsed presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney after ending his own presidential campaign in September, on CNN's Starting Point. “But beyond that, in terms of this agreement that was signed, Governor Romney feels it’s important to define the mission ahead in terms of strategic outcomes, not in terms of days or months on the calendar."
Obama on Tuesday signed a strategic agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai that established a framework for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan for the 10 years after the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2014.
Pawlenty added that Romney said 2014 may be an appropriate deadline for withdrawal, but the presumptive nominee would have “taken a different approach” and executed the agreement in private.