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Gingrich: It's Time To Get Out Of Afghanistan

Bob Schieffer: Is it time for us to leave Afghanistan, Mr. Speaker?

Newt Gingrich: I think it is. I think that we have to reassess the entire region. I think the revelations about Pakistan having hidden Bin Laden for seven years in a military city near their national defense university and then hunting down not the people who were protecting Bin Laden but hunting down the people who were helping America. I think the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. When you look around the region, this is going to get much worse. That's why I've called for an American energy policy. We need to decide that we're going to produce our own oil and we're going to frankly be capable of surviving without having to define or dominate the region because I don't think we have the willpower or the capacity to do the things you'd have to do to fundamentally change the region.

Schieffer: You say it is time to leave. Do you mean just, let's leave, let's start leaving right now, not wait around?

Gingrich: I think we need to reconsider the whole region. We need to understand that our being in the middle of countries like Afghanistan is probably counterproductive. We're not prepared to be ruthless enough to force them to change, and yet we're clearly an alien presence. That was the real meaning of the reaction to the Koran burning. The fact is those Korans had been in fact defaced by Muslims who were prisoners. They had been abused by Muslims, not by Americans, and yet the instantaneous anti-foreigner sentiment is so deep that I think we need to recognize that we're walking on egg shells in places like Afghanistan, and after $20 billion in the last decade, it's pretty hard to argue that the Pakistanis are seriously our allies when they hide Bin Laden for seven years.

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