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"Dissension in the Ranks?"


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With the end of combat in Operation Enduring Freedom presidentially certified, all eyes rivet toward Afghanistan. This is the fight President Obama, when campaigning for office, called our "war of necessity." This is the theater of conflict where Obama, when debating Sen. McCain barely two years ago, promised us victory ending with the killing or capture of Osama bin Laden. Ironically, Afghanistan may also be the only war in American history with a presidential expiration date.

In his recent book, "The Promise: President Obama, Year One," journalist and Obama hagiographer Jonathan Alter gives us unique insight into the setting of the July 2011 deadline for the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan.

As Alter recounts the pivotal meeting, Defense Secretary Gates, Gen. David H. Petraeus, Adm. Mike Mullen and other Pentagon brass were convened at the White House to hear Commander in Chief Obama's decision on the Afghan War strategy. Vice President Joe Biden accompanied Obama to the meeting.

On their way to the conference room, Biden asked Obama whether the 18-month deadline for withdrawal of U.S. forces was a target date or a firm promise. According to Alter, Obama not only responded that it was a promise, but the president subsequently went on to press General Petraeus to commit to finishing the job in Afghanistan within the 18-month deadline.


In the retirement speech of one of our greatest fighting generals, Gen. McChrystal -- whose self-inflicted career immolation still remains unexplained, but undoubtedly patriotically motivated -- we may have been given a first hint of his motivation when he observed: "Caution and cynicism are safe, but soldiers don't want to follow cautious cynics.

They follow leaders who believe enough to risk failure or disappointment for a worthy cause."

Even Joe Biden doubted the 'deadline' for withdrawal. Must be great to be able to predict success. Wonder how he does in the stock market?

If I was a grunt in Afghanistan now, I certainly would not want to be the last casualty. I think I would lay low and take as few risks as possible.

And this guy has 863 days left of his term. Will the new Congress coming in November, maybe some changes will be made all around Washington.
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