In July 2011, The U.S. Drawdown in Afghanistan Will Begin. Or Not.

Gen. David Petraeus telling NBC today the latest thinking on the announced July : 

The president has been clear… this is the date when the process begins which is conditions based,” Petraeus insisted, adding that he reserved the right to tell the President it was “too early.”

Further into the interview, while predicting that difficulties would continue, Gen. Petraeus also claimed that the war began making “progress” in the spring, a surprising claim considering every metric from civiilian to military death tolls and IED attacks has risen precipitously since then. He also took occasion to condemn WikiLeaks as “very reprehensible” for releasing classified documents showing just how poorly the war has been going.

Beyond that, Gen. Petraeus maintained that the primary goal of the war in Afghanistan, with its 150,000 NATO troops, is to “arrest Osama bin Laden.” Countless officials, including Petraeus himself, have maintained for years that bin Laden has left Afghanistan.

More here. HT: Angela Keaton's/Antiwar.com's Twitter feed.

What Obama said back in December 2009:

And as Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan.  After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home....

These additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011. Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground.  We'll continue to advise and assist Afghanistan's security forces to ensure that they can succeed over the long haul.  But it will be clear to the Afghan government -- and, more importantly, to the Afghan people -- that they will ultimately be responsible for their own country.

He also promised that "all troops" will be out of Iraq by the end of 2011.

Whole talk here.

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  • David E. Gallaher||

    Eisenhower once said, if he had not been a five-star general, he would not have been able to stand up to the "military-industrial complex." Look at Obama's cabinet: Hillary. Jim Jones, National Security Advisor, whom I've met. He is intimidating. Gates, SECDEF. His overall competence is intimidating. We all like Obama, but he ain't Ike. We're doomed.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Jim Jones, National Security Advisor

    Great name. How can we not trust this guy?

  • BeltwayLurker||

    Obama is a pathetic tool. Tool that he is, he did cover his ass with the mentions of "conditions." If you count empty-suited asscoverings.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

  • ||

    "All troops"?

    Not just "combat troops"?

    Yay!

  • Brett L||

    I'm betting they'll all be out of A-stan in time for the NH primary in 2012. However, there may be an even more cynical timeline that I haven't considered. I suffer from the cynic's paranoia that I'm not cynical enough.

  • Kolohe||

    I'll take that bet. My over/under is in time for the Democratic National Convention in summer 2016.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I don't think the Democrats are going to be controlling the troops after 2012.

  • ||

    I guess I had better start working on my letter to Santy Claus.

  • Brett L||

    Did anyone else snicker when they read: "The President has been clear..."? Maybe I'm attributing Petraeus a wit he doesn't possess, but using one of the President's cliches is great irony, intentional or un-,

  • Esteban||

    While I understand opposition to the war in Iraq, I do not understand opposition to the war in Afghanistan. Leaving and allowing the Taliban to provide safe haven for jihadist groups (Al-Qaeda division or not) is not something the United States can allow to happen. Criticize the prosecution of the war, but our presence is necessary.

  • Some Guy||

    Outside of whatever intelligence assets (which I wouldn't count as a military presence) we need, we can get by just fine with handful of small spec-ops units on the ground to accomplish that task.

    Cruise missiles can kill terrorists and/or random civilians just as effectively as troops, but nobody misses them when they blow up and you don't have to pay the missile's medical bills for the next 60 years.

  • Dello||

    Agreed. And besides, short of killing EVERYONE in A-stan, we'll never actually make a difference there.

    Hasn't history (and the 20 nations that failed there before us) taught us anything?

  • Esteban||

    Exactly, because the experience of other centuries old countries with different motives and objectives exactly parallel our own!!!!11!!

  • creech||

    You dig it, you go.

  • Dello||

    Agreed. And besides, short of killing EVERYONE in A-stan, we'll never actually make a difference there.

    Hasn't history (and the 20 nations that failed there before us) taught us anything?

  • ||

    Hasn't history (and the 20 nations that failed there before us) taught us anything?

    Cmon, I think you're giving Americans too much credit.

    Did history teach us anything about prohibition? Did history teach us anything about unchecked gov't expansion? How about the history of of failed attempts at socialism? Nope, no lessons there either.

    Life's a pimp, and history is it's bitch.

  • ||

    Um, Spanish Armada, anyone?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Esteban,

    While I understand opposition to the war in Iraq, I do not understand opposition to the war in Afghanistan.

    What was the objective? Getting bin Laden. That hasn't happened. The Taliban did not attack the twin towers and the Pentagon, Saudi Arabian Al-Qaeda operatives did. The Afghani people did not attack the twin towers or the Pentagon, the Saudi Arabian Al-Qaeda operatives did. Yet it is Taliban and the Afghani people being killed and maimed, while US troops are being killed in small numbers in unrelenting attacks. Whatever for?

  • ||

    Hold up, you mean you need a reason to go kill sand niggers? Isn't distracting the wageslaves purpose enough?

  • ||

    There you go, projecting again.

    Repeat after me, it's not nice to say ni....

  • ||

    "We shall say 'ni' again to you if you do not appease us."

  • Esteban||

    The objective was not 'getting' Bin Laden. The objective was two fold. Since the Taliban helped to support and provide sage haven for Al-Qaeda, part of our objective was to eliminate the Taliban, in addition to dismantling (or at least diminishing the power) of the Al-Qaeda network. Bin-Laden has never been the be-all end-all of Al-Qaeda, as influential as he was. I also argue that have "a few" intelligence operatives is enough to ensure that Al-Qaeda can not regroup under the protection of the Taliban. Have you ever read "The Looming Tower" or "Ghost Wars?"

  • ||

    Gee, you've never talked to John Kerry, I can see. He's very convincing and nuanced about this subject. Just as T(h?)eresa.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Teh Terrsts! have safe havens all over the Middle East. Which countries necessitate our presence?

  • Esteban||

    Nice one!!! Teh terrsts do NOT have safe havens all over the Middle East, which is why Al-Qaeda set up camp first in Sudan and only left to Afghanistan when Sudan thought they were too big a liability for them. The governments of the Middle East want nothing to do with non state terrorist groups operating in their countries. Instead of stereotyping my views, why don't you come up with something original?

  • Esteban||

    Though, yes, Somalia will probably be the next safe haven, as there is now effective government there.

  • Yonemoto||

    Who says we need the military?

    H.R. 3076:
    September 11 Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001

  • Yonemoto||

    The military is for fighting states. When you're fighting non-state actors, you need non-state actors yourself. Fight fire with fire!

  • Old Mexican||

    Beyond that, Gen. Petraeus maintained that the primary goal of the war in Afghanistan, with its 150,000 NATO troops, is to “arrest Osama bin Laden.” Countless officials, including Petraeus himself, have maintained for years that bin Laden has left Afghanistan.

    The raison détre for the war is gone, so we need to keep the war going. Government-ese for the layman...

  • ||

    "For the layman"? I thought it was for those of us whose heads asploded after reading the quote.

  • leavemealone||

    The US will withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Afghans who aided the US will be killed or tortured and killed. There won't be any boats, like there were in Saigon, to help. Twenty or thirty years from now Afghans will be working on assembly lines operated by Chinese capitalists making the little consumer trinkets that are too expensive to make in China.

  • ||

    If Afghans are, en masse, performing productive work instead of killing one another in twenty or thirty years I will be thrilled.

  • camel cig||

    The US will withdrawal from Afghanistan.

  • ||

    I misread the headline as "In July 2031, the US Drawdown in Afghanistan will begin." Which is actually more likely than it happening in July 2011.

    While I understand opposition to the war in Iraq, I do not understand opposition to the war in Afghanistan.

    Speaking for myself, at least, I didn't initially oppose the war in Afghanistan. Nearly a decade later, though, I do. Conservatives once praised the first Gulf War because the US military had clear objectives to achieve, unlike Vietnam. It was understood that open-ended wars are bad for the military as well as for the body politic. Now, we're left with a Republican party that is in favor of war just because. I guess our troops will just have to die thousands of miles away from home so that politicians can gain votes.

    Leaving and allowing the Taliban to provide safe haven for jihadist groups (Al-Qaeda division or not) is not something the United States can allow to happen.

    Hmmm . . . does it jeopardize the survival of the republic to allow Al Qaida/jihadist groups to train in Afghanistan? No. No, it does not. So I think it is clearly something the United States can "allow."

  • ||

    Hmmm . . . does it jeopardize the survival of the republic to allow Al Qaida/jihadist groups to train in Afghanistan? No. No, it does not. So I think it is clearly something the United States can "allow."

    Okay, I've knocked back a few tall glasses of wine, but something tells me that is a completely insane statement. Is it you, or am I nuts?

  • ||

    Sorry, I meant the survival of the American republic. What I'm saying is there's nothing Al Qaida or any of the terrorist groups can do to make the United States cease to exist as a nation. Since them training in Afghanistan isn't a threat to the existence of America, I think it's something that the US can "allow." Maybe it will save more American lives on balance to stay and fight on Afghani soil and not allow them to train, and if that's the case it may be worth doing. But if the cost is too great we can most certainly cut and run; it's not a war the government is obligated to fight.

  • ||

    Absurd.

    While Jihadists certainly can't threaten the Republic by flying planes into things, a single nuclear bomb detonated near DC could take out much of the upper and middle bureaucracy of the Federal Government. My guess is that the States would go their separate ways.

    Now which side was I on again?

  • ||

    While Jihadists certainly can't threaten the Republic by flying planes into things, a single nuclear bomb detonated near DC could take out much of the upper and middle bureaucracy of the Federal Government.

    Yes, with all the nuclear bombs terrorists have access to. Probably the ones Saddam Hussein was making. Quite aside from the fact that the federal government is not the same thing as the United States. Jihadists can neither conquer the United States nor cause enough damage to cripple it economically. They can induce us do it to ourselves, by spending way too much money on wars and "security" and giving up too much liberty. In fact, they're doing just that at the moment.

    My guess is that the States would go their separate ways.

    Really? Because my guess is that, were the federal government to be wiped out, we'd find a way to make a new one. Whatever its problems, the compact made by the Constitution has been on balance a good one for everyone concerned.

  • ||

    I trust our Commander-in-Chief implicitly. I know that the lives of Americans serving in uniform are a constant consideration as he works towards a foreign policy that is effective and serves our interests and principles.

    Seriously. I really do.

    I'm not joking. I mean it.

    Doc, why are you shaking your head?

  • e'||

    e'

  • ||

    accent grav 'e

  • BakedPenguin||

    If you have MS Office, you can use MS Word - Insert - Symbol for the grave: è and acute: é accents

  • ||

    Not if you're as drunk as I was.

  • ||

    Or you can just type in è
    é.

  • ||

    "Attention! Your attention please! A news flash has just arrived from the Malibar Front! Our forces in South India have won a glorious victory! I am authorized to report the measures we are now taking may bring the war within measurable distance of its end!"

    "Doubleplusgood!"

  • ||

    "The president has been clear..."
    ????
    POTUS, "Uh,...I want to be clear on my clarity...uh, as there has been some unclarity with regard to my clearness regarding clarity. Uh, let me clearly state that my clarity is clear...uh, it is the clearest possible clarity. Uh"

  • Afghanistan||

    If the USA will abandon Afghanistan it will have to suffer a bigger tragedy than 9/11. Americans are materialistic and had lost faith in Afghanistan when they felt that it is costing them heavily. But it will cost them more heavily if today they will abandon. The only difference is that now they are paying and if they will leave their next generation would be paying even more heavily. The Pandora box opened by the Neo Cons will have long time affects.

  • Suprashoesweb||

    Supra Shoes is the first programme specifically designed for sports Supra Skytop

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