Editor's Note: A video clip of Obama's August 13 statement appears below this column on page 2.
Barack Obama appears to have made another foreign policy misstep.
At an August 13 New Hampshire campaign stop, Obama said that as President he would move more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to “get the job done there, and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there.”
The Republican National Committee is demanding an immediate apology from Obama. Chairman Mike Duncan issued a statement that said: “It is hard to imagine that anyone who aspires to be Commander-in-Chief would say such a thing about our brave men and women in uniform. Obama owes our armed forces an apology – today.”
Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendell, who just released the biography “Obama: From Promise to Power,” said of Obama on the Hannity and Colmes Show Tuesday that “He’s been…a little bit all over the place with his foreign policy.”
Obama’s assessment of the work being done by American troops in Afghanistan comes after his controversial August 1 pledge to take unilateral action against Pakistan as Commander-in-Chief if President Pervez Musharraf did not root out terrorists residing in his country.
“Let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans,” Obama said in Washington, D.C at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “They are plotting to strike again….If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf will not act, we will."
Before that speech, the Illinois senator flubbed an answer to a question about the use of nuclear weapons. On August 2 an Associated Press reporter asked Obama, “Is there any circumstances where you'd be prepared or willing to use nuclear weapons to defeat terrorism and Osama bin Laden?”
He replied, “That’s not a hypothetical that I'm going to discuss.” When the reporter asked him to talk about tactical nuclear weapons, Obama said, “I think it would be a profound mistake for us to use nuclear weapons in any circumstance.” Then he backed off: “Let me scratch all that. There's been no discussion of nuclear weapons. That's not on the table.”