Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kristol hits "irresponsible" Barbour on Afghanistan

The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol accuses Haley Barbour of "pandering" by suggesting that the United States should possibly reduce its presence in Afghanistan and consider defense spending cuts.

"Barbour is a shrewd political operative, and if he's saying this, he's seeing an opening for a defense-cutting, Afghanistan-skeptic candidate in 2012.

Polls suggest he may be right—however irresponsible Barbour's pandering to these sentiments may be."

But Kristol has plenty of praise for Tim Pawlenty, who affirmed his support for the war in Afghanistan and current levels of defense spending.

"What's interesting is his leaping at the occasion to get in a little dust-up with Barbour. This suggests a degree of nimbleness and boldness that speaks well for his prospects to move from the second tier to the first."