Both major-party candidates contending for a term in the Oval Office almost appear to have forgotten that a U.S. war is still underway in Afghanistan.
Neither Mitt Romney nor Paul Ryan even mentioned the war when Romney introduced Ryan as his GOP running mate, and President Obama usually gives the conflict only a brief mention in his campaign events.
There could be a reason.
According to recent polls by ABC/The Washington Post and the New York Times/CBS, two in three Americans believes the war has not been worth fighting, and close to 70 percent says the United States should not be involved in Afghanistan. The American public, strongly in favor of ending the war, is starting to question the presidential candidates’ silence on Afghanistan policy.
Meanwhile, Obama’s own defense secretary has chosen to remind folks about the conflict still being fought 11 years later.
“I realize that there are a lot of other things going on around this country that can draw our attention, from the Olympics, to political campaigns to droughts, to some of the tragedies we’ve seen in communities around the country,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says. “I thought it was important to remind the American people that there is a war going on.”
Panetta reportedly felt the need to deliver that reminder this week during a Pentagon news briefing.
Despite the apparent lack of interest on the part of Obama, Romney — and the American people — some 84,000 U.S. troops remain in harm’s way in Afghanistan.