By Jeremy Herb - 10/12/12 02:32 AM EDT
But Biden responded by saying U.S.-trained Afghan troops should be taking the risk as coalition forces leave. He asked Ryan whether he wanted Americans there rather than Afghans.
Biden said firmly that the U.S. military is ending its mission in Afghanistan in 2014, with no exceptions, and that it's up to the Afghans to take control of their security by that date.
Ryan said that he and Mitt Romney agreed with the date to withdraw U.S. forces in 2014, though he said that it would depend on the conditions there, too.
Ryan said he wanted the 2014 date to be successful, but also “want to make sure the commanders have what they need so that it is successful, and Afghanistan does not become a launching pad for terrorists.”
Biden criticized Ryan and Romney for not being firm on the 2014 date.
“My friend and the governor say it’s based on conditions, which means it depends,” Biden said. “It does not depend for us … we are leaving in 2014, period.”
While the two agreed on the 2014 date, they fought over putting a timeline on it, with Ryan arguing that it emboldened U.S. enemies and Biden saying that it prompted the government in Afghanistan to get its act together so U.S. troops were able to leave.