Liz Cheney called on President Obama to "repudiate" his policy in Afghanistan and say that decisions will be "based on conditions on the ground." In fact, Obama has repeatedly said that the transition in Afghanistan will be based on "conditions on the ground."
Liz Cheney Calls On Obama To Say Decisions In Afghanistan Will Be "Based On Conditions On The Ground"
WALLACE: Are you convinced this President, at least now, is all-in in Afghanistan?
CHENEY: I think he's clearly moving in the right direction, and I think that, you know, we ought to praise him for going to visit the troops. Every time a commander-in-chief does that, I think it's an important thing to do, important for him to send the message of support back here. I was very pleased to see this 2014 date out there now as opposed to just the 2011 date.
You know, what I'd like to see -- because I do believe that setting the 2011 deadline did cause significant damage to the effort, in terms of convicing people that we're committed to be there to win -- I'd like to see the president repudiate it. I'd like to see him say, "Just let's be clear: We are going to make our decisions based on conditions on the ground, not based on dates we set back here in Washington."
And that's important not just for what's happening in Afghanistan. It's important for the Pakistanis to hear that as well, so that they understand it is not in their interest at all to help to support, provide safe havens to the extent that the Taliban has safe havens in Pakistan. That message is a critically important one, and I'd like to see the president say "conditions-based," not just "deadline set". [Fox Broadcasting Company's Fox News Sunday, 12/05/2010, emphasis added]
In Fact, Obama Has Repeatedly Said Decisions Will Be Based On "Conditions On The Ground" In Afghanistan
Obama: "The Pace Of Our Troop Reduction Will Be Determined By Conditions On The Ground." Discussing the end of combat operations in Iraq on August 31, 2010, Obama said:
Within Afghanistan, I've ordered the deployment of additional troops who -- under the command of General David Petraeus -- are fighting to break the Taliban's momentum.
As with the surge in Iraq, these forces will be in place for a limited time to provide space for the Afghans to build their capacity and secure their own future. But, as was the case in Iraq, we can't do for Afghans what they must ultimately do for themselves. That's why we're training Afghan Security Forces and supporting a political resolution to Afghanistan's problems. And next August, we will begin a transition to Afghan responsibility. The pace of our troop reductions will be determined by conditions on the ground, and our support for Afghanistan will endure. But make no mistake: This transition will begin -- because open-ended war serves neither our interests nor the Afghan people's." [Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on the End of Combat Operations in Iraq, 8/31/2010, emphasis added]
Joint Statement From Obama and Karzai: Security Transition Process Will Be "Conditions-Based." In a Joint Statement, President Obama and President Karzai of Afghanistan said:
The Presidents further recognized that developing the Afghan National Security Forces' capabilities is necessary to facilitate implementation of an orderly, conditions-based security transition process. Towards that end, the Afghan Government welcomed the United States' pledge of continued support to train, equip, and sustain the Afghan National Security Forces, so they can increasingly take the lead in securing and defending their country against internal and external threats. President Karzai joined President Obama in reiterating the need for continued international military assistance to train and equip the Afghan National Security Forces. [Joint Statement from the President [[Obama ]]and President Karzai of Afghanistan, 5/12/2010]
Obama: "We Will Execute This Transition Responsibly, Taking Into Account Conditions On The Ground." From Obama's speech announcing the deployment of additional troops to Afghanistan:
The 30,000 additional troops that I'm announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 -- the fastest possible pace -- so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers. They'll increase our ability to train competent Afghan security forces, and to partner with them so that more Afghans can get into the fight. And they will help create the conditions for the United States to transfer responsibility to the Afghans.
Because this is an international effort, I've asked that our commitment be joined by contributions from our allies. Some have already provided additional troops, and we're confident that there will be further contributions in the days and weeks ahead. Our friends have fought and bled and died alongside us in Afghanistan. And now, we must come together to end this war successfully. For what's at stake is not simply a test of NATO's credibility -- what's at stake is the security of our allies, and the common security of the world.
But taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011. Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground. We'll continue to advise and assist Afghanistan's security forces to ensure that they can succeed over the long haul. But it will be clear to the Afghan government -- and, more importantly, to the Afghan people -- that they will ultimately be responsible for their own country. [Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on the Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 12/01/2009, emphasis added]