The Corner

Rick Santorum, Commander-in-Chief

In the spin room after the debate, I caught up with Rick Santorum, who expressed regret that there weren’t more foreign-policy questions in tonight’s debate. I asked him about Ron Paul’s comment that the commander-in-chief tells generals what to do, not the other way around. He said he agreed, and would have loved the chance to expand on Afghanistan. “It’s not a policy to say I’m going to check with my generals and see what they want to do,” he said.

On Afghanistan, he said the president has no policy at all, and we need to reassess. That would involve getting privy to more intelligence info than he has now, he said, but based on what he knows, he thinks trying to establish democracy there might be too ambitious a goal. “I’m less concerned with establishing democracy in Afghanistan than I am with establishing stability in Afghanistan,” he said.

So there is at least one other candidate on the record both questioning how far we can go in Afghanistan and asserting that he would not simply do whatever the generals advise.

Andrew Cline Andrew Cline is the president of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank in New Hampshire.

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