Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter called on Mitt Romney Wednesday to come forward with his own plan for ending the war in Afghanistan. While in Israel last month, Romney told ABC News he supported the Obama plan to have all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but did not agree with the plan to remove 23,000 of the current 100,000 troops in that country by this September 30. Some military experts have said that withdrawal could impede efforts over the next year to stabilize the country. Romney told ABC in the same interview that he would be open to keeping some combat troops in the country beyond 2014 should conditions change. Cutter, speaking Wednesday on MSNBC's Morning Joe show, accused the Republican presidential candidate of being less than forthright on the subject.
"Just two days ago, Mitt Romney was asked about his plan for Afghanistan, and in his words, he said he's not going to lay out details for how he's going to draw down the war in Afghanistan until after the election," Cutter said. "Sounds very familiar to a 'secret plan' that another candidate promised many, many years ago.... We'd love to have a discussion. There's not a willingness on the other side to put out details."
The reference to "another candidate" of "many, many years ago" was apparently to Richard Nixon, who was elected in 1968. Nixon was widely criticized that campaign season for what was often described as his "secret plan" to end the war in Vietnam. Nixon did not use the term "secret plan," but did say he would end the war, while refusing to say how. The former vice president canceled a speech he was going to deliver on Vietnam when President Lyndon Johnson announced on March 30 of that year that he would not seek reelection.
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