Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Petraeus Listens to McCain's Rant on Afghanistan Withdrawal Deadline

The planned July 2011 withdrawal of SOME troops in Afghanistan has been a bug up John McCain's butt. The deadline, timeline, whatever you want to call it seems to be confusing to many. It seems to me that the withdrawal timeline isn't there to discourage our allies or so that terrorists can regroup, as McCain insists. The deadline is there so that the corrupt Karzai government has a time frame in order to get its act together.

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The video cuts off before Petraeus gets a chance to speak but here's some of what he said:
Petraeus tried to make his position clear, reiterating a comment he made during hearings on Afghanistan two weeks ago: “It’s important to note that July 2011 will be the beginning of a process ... not the date by which we head for the exits and turn off the lights.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) zeroed in on the essential difficulty facing the Obama administration — how to balance continued support for the war with calls from his liberal base to make plans to exit as soon as possible. Citing a quote attributed to Vice President Joe Biden in Jonathan Alter’s book “The Promise” — that “you can bet on it” that in July 2011 a large number of troops will come home — Graham asked Petraeus whether the comment was accurate.

Petraeus responded in his typically artful style by reframing it. Petraeus said he had a conversation with Biden immediately after meeting with the president in the Oval Office about the much-argued-over July 2011 withdrawal date.

“The vice president said, ‘You should know that I’m 100 percent supportive of this policy,’” Petraeus said, and he added that neither he nor Defense Secretary Robert Gates had heard Biden make the statement quoted in Alter’s book. Read more at Politco