Security Is at Root of GOP Divide

The WikiLeaks release this week of thousands of classified documents on the war in Afghanistan has reignited the political debate over the direction of the war and overall U.S. national security, an issue that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is due to tackle Thursday in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute. Gingrich weighs in at a moment when the Republican Party is more divided on national security than it has been in decades.

The recent intraparty battering of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele—after his comments that characterized Afghanistan as virtually hopeless and called it “a war of Obama’s choosing”—was really only a sideshow to this bigger story. The last time Republicans were so sharply at odds was the party’s debate with its isolationist wing before World War II.

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