Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from a speech Mitt Romney delivered November 13, 2009 to the Young America's Foundation at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California.
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"Let me turn for a moment to Afghanistan. Here is what I believe.
I believe "the terrorists who planned and supported the 9-11 attacks are in Pakistan and Afghanistan.' I believe that "if the Afghan government falls to the Taliban--the country will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can.' I believe that "the future of Afghanistan is inextricably linked to the future of its neighbor Pakistan.' I believe that "we are in Afghanistan to confront a common enemy that threatens the United States, our friends and allies.' I believe that "to succeed, we and our friends and allies must reverse the Taliban's gains, and promote a more capable and accountable Afghan government.'
I am not the first one to have those beliefs. Those were the words of President Obama spoken on March 27 of this year.
What I now find incomprehensible and inexcusable is this:
The President had no time to frequently and regularly meet with his Generals conducting the war, even as American soldiers were dying.
The President took wholly inadequate preparation to ensure a valid Afghan election, even as he knew that a legitimate government was essential to our success.
The President has invited David Axelrod to participate in his national security discussions, where polls and politics have no place.
The President has held his job for 10 months but does not yet have a strategy.
What has he been doing that is more important than protecting the lives of the troops of which he is Commander-in-Chief? He has been campaigning -- rallying at phony town meetings and making over 30 campaign stops for fellow Democrats. This President's inattention and dereliction remind me of those Northwest Airlines pilots who were so distracted from their jobs that they lost their way. But in this case, the consequences are far more severe."
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