How do wars end? Sometimes when one side overwhelms the other, as was the case in 1991 when the U.S. was successful in having Iraq pull out of Kuwait. But more often they end, as former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said, with a political solution.
That's why Gates and David Petraeus, our current CIA director and former chief commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, have both advocated negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
But that's weak, according to Mitt Romney, who repeated that assertion in last night's GOP presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
"Now, the Taliban is killing Americans. This president has done an extraordinary thing. He announced the date of our withdrawal. He announced the date of the withdrawal of our surge forces based upon a political calendar, not the calendar that the commanders on the ground said it was based for our mission. That was wrong.
And then he announced the day that we’re going to pull out of the country all together. And now he wants to negotiate from a position of extraordinary weakness? You don’t negotiate from — with your enemy from a position of weakness as this president has done."