In a column published Tuesday, Washington Post columnist George Will made a bold pronouncement: It's time for the U.S. to get out of Afghanistan.
The op-ed stirred major interest even before it was published, thanks to an article in Politico. Salon's Alex Koppelman predicted that few conservatives would take Will's side: "[I]t's almost certainly not going to be a Cronkite and Vietnam moment... Will doesn't hold the sway he used to, because there aren't many Republicans like him left."
Some war supporters, while disagreeing with Will's conclusion, conceded that he had a point. "I share many of these sentiments," said Bill Kristol in the Post. "Anybody who does not share George Will's frustrations with the Afghan mission has not been paying attention," wrote David Frum. And others thought Will hit the nail on the head. Former Congressman Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.) told Politico, "George Will asks the right questions and gives the right answers. ... Will is right: it's time to bring our young men and women home; it's time to leave Afghanistan to the Afghanis." Longtime Republican PR man Craig Shirley agreed: "Will is right. If in eight years we haven't secured Afghanistan, then we never will because that country's culture does not want to be secure." New Majority's Jeb Golinkin wrote that "Mr. Will's defection indicates that support on the right, particularly amongst realists like Mr. Will (and myself) may not be as reliable as the administration may have originally believed."
"I think .... he frustration Will expresses about the war is more widely felt than it is voiced in D.C.," added the National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru.
A new CBS Poll out Tuesday shows that public support for the war is continually decreasing.