The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Fox’s Special Report with Bret Baier | Thursday, February 16, 2012

On Ron Paul’s amicable relationship with Mitt Romney:

It’s Ron Paul’s strategy. He is not out to win the Oval Office. He knows he won’t. … He is a man who is excited about building a movement. That is what this is about. And he is having remarkable success after 30 years in the wilderness.

And if you want to do that, you don’t need to knock off Romney who [has been] ahead of the pack all the way through. What you want to do is attack the others who challenge you [for] No. 2: Gingrich or Santorum. So, you emerge as the second at Tampa and you emerge as the guy who gets the big speech — and who is able to build the movement right there.

On new three-way peace talks between the United States, Afghanistan, and the Taliban:

it’s rather hilarious to see headlines that say “Karzai announces secret talks.” You know, if they’re on the front page of the Washington Post, it’s not exactly a secret talk anymore.

But what is happening here is he [Karzai] is trying to become relevant. The Taliban had refused to engage in negotiations with him.

That’s exactly what happened in our negotiations with the North Vietnamese at the end of the Vietnam War. We are trying to draw down troops; get some kind of an agreement and leave; hand over the fighting to the Vietnamese.

The North Vietnamese called the South Vietnamese government a puppet and refused to engage in negotiations with anybody except for us. The enemy in Afghanistan has done exactly the same thing in calling Karzai a puppet — up until now. It looks as if they have accepted Karzai as a negotiator. And as a result, I think there is a better chance of perhaps splitting off the good Taliban, or the ones who are prepared for some accommodation…

In the end it is going to end up like the negotiations in Paris on the Vietnam War. Here, the Pakistanis will be the fourth element at the table. But the question is, in the end — when we are out — will this end up with helicopters on the roof of the American embassy in Kabul?

Nobody knows…

[Pakistan] is going to be decisive because it supports the bad bad guys, as well as some of the good bad guys. But in the end, it may not want a completely hostile Afghanistan. It wants Afghanistan neutralized so India isn’t dominant.

[Pakistan] could accept an agreement that allows American influence, [and keeps] the Karzai government in place. And [Pakistan could even] sustain [that government], because of it [would gain] influence over Afghanistan.

And that [the Pakistan-brokered compromise] I think is our best hope. It isn’t like the Chinese and the Russians who wanted us out and humiliated in Vietnam.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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