"It was one of those, one of those areas of the total board of foreign policy ["in the Middle East"? -- Note: The audio is not quite clear in this section.] that we would be in the background, sort of shaping the changes that were necessary in Afghanistan as opposed to directly engaging troops," Steele continued. "But it was the president who was trying to be cute by half by flipping a script demonizing Iraq, while saying the battle really should be in Afghanistan. Well, if he's such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that's the one thing you don't do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed. And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan."
Late Update: We asked RNC spokesman Doug Heye for comment -- and it's not quite clear what his answer is to the main questions raised by Steele's remarks.
And don't miss this slideshow!