Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

It seems appropriate to link to Comedy Central for this bit of news from CNN that Obama plans to conclude the war and withdraw most U.S. service members within three years, senior administration officials told CNN Tuesday.

Barack Obama -- who is nearly one year into his first four-year term -- has supposedly decided to randomly pick a three-year time table for ending his proposed escalation in Afghanistan out of thin air for no reason whatsoever... Jeeze, I sure hope the bringing the troops home in 2012 doesn't get too much in the way of Obama's re-election campaign.*
Ben Smith says "Mark it down as the first promise of his re-election campaign."

Doesn't this seem like the most awful roll-out possible?

Update [2009-12-1 16:2:46 by Jerome Armstrong]:Politico is reporting that "the date for the beginning of withdrawal is July, 2011", and Greg Sargent that says those same WH Sr admins are denying there is an end point of the occupation.

And yet, from McChrystal, that a drawdown will not begin until before 2013:

Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican congressman from Colorado, said this week that during his visit to Kabul, he asked McChrystal: "If you get these troops that you are requesting, the 40,000, where's the tipping point? At what point will we begin to draw down?" According to Coffman, McChrystal responded: "Sometime before 2013."
(*I guess those fellas at Comedy Central were onto something.)

Tags: 2012, Afghanistan (all tags)

Comments

51 Comments

Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

I think that length of time is a mistake. But, that's just gut from looking at the poll numbers and comparing it to Bush's polling numbers as I remember it off top my head.

by bruh3 2009-12-01 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

It's pretty much serving it up there for Republicans to go against it, to be putting the exit date in line with his re-election plans. There's not really any other way to take it but but reading his own political considerations into it.  

I'm beginning to wonder if Obama might actually want this to fail in the House.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-01 09:16AM | 0 recs
Actually the roll out is pretty good

I don't know where CNN got the 3 years from but I actually think that in 3 years we can start to pull out.

by puma 2009-12-01 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Actually the roll out is pretty good

I don't know anything about the military end of this, but how can a 3 year war be a good thing for the president politically speaking? Is this like  last night when I pointed out that only 36 percent see this move as a positive, and Vecky said that 36 is a good number?

by bruh3 2009-12-01 09:34AM | 0 recs
and remember

He said he wouldn't sign a health care reform bill that added a dime to the deficit.

This escalation will add at least $40 billion to the deficit every year.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-01 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: and remember

yeah, but it's for blowin' stuff up.

by the mollusk 2009-12-01 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: and remember

Well, you know my feeling over the waste of money involved in saying we can not supposedly afford to actually address the cost of health care reform. I used to call this penny wise, pound foolish. Now, I must add that it is not even penny wise.

by bruh3 2009-12-01 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

I think Obama needs to spend a lot more time focusing on the political saliency of his plans and much less time trying to figure out the correct thing to do as a matter of foreign policy.  I'm sure the troops and their families are disappointed that the President isn't focusing his undivided attention on what this will mean for Democrats in the midterms or whether a target date of 2012 is exploitable politically.

by Steve M 2009-12-01 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

LOZ...

You would think Democrats would be happy to have a deadline, a time-table and an exit strategy. But no.

by vecky 2009-12-01 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

I think that the jury is out on that issue too isn't it? The point is the extra dimension, not either one is important or the other. Political will to be in a war is a tiny bit important for wars or it used to be. Maybe that's no longer the case and we can go to war so long as the military thinks it is a good idea.

by bruh3 2009-12-01 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

The issue of political will is a heck of a lot different from "how will this play for Democrats in 2010?"

by Steve M 2009-12-01 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

 Assuming these is even an issue for voters, how this impacts Democrats is merged with political will since outside of polls that is our barometer. How would you separate them out? How else would you measure political will other than how it affects Democrats? Is your point that winning or losing elections is self interest? If so, I don't see how self interest negates the additional lesson your learn regarding political will. In either case, how is the data not the same?

by bruh3 2009-12-01 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

If voters go back to Republicans, the party that started the war, I would hardly take that as an indication that there is no political will for the war.

Regardless, you're basically persuading me that political will is an illegitimate consideration, if all it means is that we need to make sure our team gets reelected.  Let's say Bush announced a drawdown of troops just before the 2006 elections to give the GOP an electoral boost.  Would you buy it if he said, "Hey, I'm not playing politics with foreign policy, I'm just making sure we sustain the political will necessary to prosecute this war"?

by Steve M 2009-12-01 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

When you go to vote- how many choices do you see on the ballot? I see two. Sure, there are other choices, but let's keep it real- there are two.

But, if both parties are doing the same thing, how do you voice the concern over the party presently in power? I think your argument really avoids that discussion.  If you vote or don't vote (as is more likely the case) you are not voting because you endorse the Republican and sometimes even when you voting for the Republican, you are not voting for the Republicans-you are voting because you have two choices and how do you voice the fact you are upset with the choices you have?

I am not sure how saying that political will means many things, and that one of them is accountability (however imperfectly given a 2 party system that the 2 parties make damn sure remains the 2 party system) proves anything other than we have a crappy electoral system. How else would you in this system advocate that voters voice their political will?

As for your hypo, it seems a bit odd. What do you want me to say? That I would trust Bush? But, that's beside the point. Just as it is with Obama. The real question is why does Bush feel the need to do that? That is a reflection of his feeling the heat of political will. Just as pointing out we could lose next time due to this decision is placing pressure only because someone is concerned that the voters do not support the war. How else would you read their decision, again, given the 2 party system? Polls? Well, the polls say 36 percent think this action by president Obama will help.

Here's an underlying truth: political actors are going to be affected by the political will. This talk about Democrats losing or winning on this or that issue with the voters is just another way of looking at it. I don't know how you realistically separate out one from the other. This is like when people tell me that voters don't vote on policy, but in some ways they are even if it is imperfect given a) the cult of personality in American politics and b) the 2 party system.

I guess my point is that voting is a blunt, not refine instrument, but it seems a bit of stretch to say that it is the voters fault that this is the case or that it is not a sign of political will however imperfect.

by bruh3 2009-12-01 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

I don't really subscribe to the GWB theory that you have an "accountability moment" and then public opinion becomes some kind of big mystery until the next election.  We can make a judgment about political will right now.  My judgment is that people are generally dubious on Afghanistan, but the number of people who are strongly opposed to the escalation is not that large.  We'll see if this war returns to the public consciousness as Iraq hopefully winds down.

by Steve M 2009-12-01 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

Optics has never been Obama's strong point.

by KimPossible 2009-12-01 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

This is a joke right?

by commentist 2009-12-01 12:48PM | 0 recs
A White House Denial

WH Denies CNN Report

President Obama will not announce a three year time frame for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, despite a CNN report to the contrary.

"That's wrong. The time frame of 3 years is nowhere in the speech," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told The Cable. He added that spokesman Robert Gibbs' statement on this issue earlier Tuesday was accurate but did not elaborate.

Gibbs told CNN's John King this morning that "the president will discuss tonight the time frame in which he believes we can transition our forces out of Afghanistan."

CNN then reported that time frame will be 3 years, according to multiple administration officials.

This sparked a firestorm of reaction on Capitol Hill, with hawks and dovs alike reacting to the idea.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-01 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: A White House Denial

CNN didn't report it was in the speech, just that it was the timeline being bantered around. I also saw a post yesterday with a similar timeline by one of the generals.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-01 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: A White House Denial

So it is the word "speech" that is contentious.

Those who live by the parse, die by the parse.

To put one's Presidency in the hands of General Stanley McChrystal is a reckless gamble.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-01 10:26AM | 0 recs
one termer

Say hello to president Romney....

by esconded 2009-12-01 10:49AM | 0 recs
Jerome needs to correct the post

"Before 2013" does not mean "until 2013."

by John DE 2009-12-01 11:53AM | 0 recs
Thank You!

I was going to post to that effect also, and was disappointed it wasn't pointed out by anyone else.

"Before 2013" does not contradict in 2011 or 2012. WTF Jerome? Still fighting the primary?

by Davidsfr 2009-12-01 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Thank You!

gmab. There's no clarity at all in the multiple leaks on the dates.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-01 01:35PM | 0 recs
Jerome you show a pretty big ego in...

...your Breaking Blue post on Sestak's support of Obama's Afghanistan surge, saying he "loses the netroots."

You speak ONLY for YOURSELF, Jerome, not me, not many others.

by DCCyclone 2009-12-01 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome you show a pretty big ego in...

Actually, he just lost the primary.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-01 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome you show a pretty big ego in...

That's why Clinton, Obama and Edwards all supported continuing the war in Afghanistan during the 2008 primary... because it's so deeply unpopular with Democratic primary voters!!!!!

At some point we all need to come to terms with the possibility that we're guilty of simply projecting our personal views onto the electorat writ large.

by Steve M 2009-12-01 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome you show a pretty big ego in...

Yea, I suggest that you start the process of ending your projections now:

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-01 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome you show a pretty big ego in...

The only way to harmonize those poll results with the reality of the 2008 primary is that by and large, people just don't care about the Afghanistan issue all that much.  The Democratic Party is a really broad coalition and the universe of primary voters is more than just Code Pink (oh wait, I hear Code Pink isn't against the war any more).

The war will surely not be a political benefit to Dems, but I don't agree that it's going to be a significant detriment.  In fact it's always been my view that, by and large, Democrats just don't care a whole lot about foreign policy.

by Steve M 2009-12-01 03:32PM | 0 recs
Yup

lot of pundit's fallacy going on w/r/t this issue.

by JJE 2009-12-02 04:54AM | 0 recs
LOL judging by your record on primaries

Sestak should start measuring the curtains in 711 Hart now.

by ND22 2009-12-01 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: LOL judging by your record on primaries

Have done pretty good on the ones I've worked: Brown, Polis to name a few. But in terms of predictions?  Since you just re-created yourself at the beginning of the month, I guess we can't compare records.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-01 02:16PM | 0 recs
Is that a joke?

Sestak may lose to Specter but it will not be because of this.  I doubt Pennsylvania primary voters care about this as strongly as you do.

by JJE 2009-12-01 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Is that a joke?

Well, I wouldn't have said he was going to win anyways, so right on that part.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-01 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Is that a joke?

Gallup pegs the support for President Obama on his decision at 35%.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-r oom/news/70007-gallup-pegs-obamas-approv al-as-lowest-on-afghanistan

I got to think you may be right this time around.

by bruh3 2009-12-01 02:51PM | 0 recs
the fact is

nobody much cares about Afghanistan except for beltway types.

by JJE 2009-12-02 04:52AM | 0 recs
I am going to wait...

until I can read the speech!!

by Ravi Verma 2009-12-01 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: I am going to wait...

Read and digest.

I think an escalation is a mistake but I want to see his thinking. This was a three month decision.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-01 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: I am going to wait...

That would just be silly.

Don't you remember all the bloviating prior to the joint-session speech?

by vecky 2009-12-01 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

This is a multi-international war.  A better chance to achieve success send in the 9K marines and lean on the international community for the rest of the troops.  I think Dems would have supported that option than to risk getting more bogged down in another quag mire.

by olawakandi 2009-12-01 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

Yes, everyone supports sending someone else's troops. What a simple idea, why didn't anyone think of that.

The fact is NATO is only in A'stan as a sort of a morale crunch. We got attacked on 9/11, not them.

by vecky 2009-12-01 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

Well both Spain and the UK later both were victims of Islamic terrorism.

Still, none of the attacks were directly from Afghanistan or even by Afghanis.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-01 02:43PM | 0 recs
No, but they were PROTECTING them

the government of Afghanistan was PROTECTING the ones who did attack us.

Look, if the KKK started attacking civilians in Moscow and our government was protecting the KKK, then I wouldn't be surprised in the least if the Russians started hurling bombs at Washington D.C.

I feel terrible for the Afghan people, I really do. I was there, I saw how this war effects them, although they've known nothing else but war and will continue to know nothing else but war whether we leave or not. In war, civilians get in the way, it's unfortunate, but true.

by ND22 2009-12-02 12:40AM | 0 recs
Re: No, but they were PROTECTING them

Does that mean you believe the terrorist attacks are justified because of US support of Israel?

by orestes 2009-12-02 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Nato operation

This is a multi-international war.  A better chance to achieve success send in the 9K marines and lean on the international community for the rest of the troops.  I think Dems would have supported that option than to risk getting more bogged down in another quag mire.

by olawakandi 2009-12-01 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

My mind is literally boggled here.  Jerome writes:

And yet, from McChrystal, that a drawdown will not begin until 2013:

but the quote actually says:

Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican congressman from Colorado, said this week that during his visit to Kabul, he asked McChrystal: "If you get these troops that you are requesting, the 40,000, where's the tipping point? At what point will we begin to draw down?" According to Coffman, McChrystal responded: "Sometime before 2013."

I mean, seriously, how can you misread a three-word quote?

by Steve M 2009-12-01 12:49PM | 0 recs
Thanks to you too

Apparently, Jerome can misread a quote that short, and lots of other posters can miss it entirely.

by Davidsfr 2009-12-01 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

lol, I'm just going with the flow.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-01 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will pull out of Afghanistan in 3 years

Fast and loose.

by thatrangeofshadesbetweenredandbluestuff 2009-12-01 03:25PM | 0 recs
This President should step down

He is been nothing but a disaster and this decision just makes it so much worse.  

by Kent 2009-12-01 03:52PM | 0 recs
LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

you're adorable. Everytime I think you can't get funnier, you do.

by ND22 2009-12-02 12:37AM | 0 recs

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