Friday, July 30, 2010

Mystic Blogging From John Cole

Mr. Cole brings a breathless post linking to a Dan Frooomkin article claiming he has evidence we will be doing in Afghanistan in 2014, pretty much what we are doing now. Fighting a full on ground war with the Taliban. How does Froomkin know this.

There are increasingly clear signs that President Obama's vow to start withdrawing American troops less than a year from now will be fulfilled through a technicality if at all, and that the real timeline for significant troop withdrawal -- barring a change in course -- now extends at least to 2014, if not far beyond

Well, this is how

One signal was Vice President Joe Biden's offhand remark  to ABC News earlier this month that the promised summer withdrawal "could be as few as a couple thousand troops" although "it could be more."

This from the administration's most prominent opponent of escalation, a man who had earlier said you could "bet on" a "whole lot of people moving out" in July 2011.

Sounds fishy from a guy that makes a living, at least in part, from saying weird things and giving everyone a chuckle at old motor mouth Joe. But even if he was spot on, and nobody knows for sure, his remark leaves out the key question "what will those troops be doing then". Or, will they still be pounding a full on ground war with the Taliban, or more in advisory rolls, or like the Iraq model where small teams of US soldiers embedded with the Iraqi Army as sort of shadow commanders for OTJ training. We don't know yet. And for the record, Obama never said we were pulling out of Afghanistan for ever. He said we would begin drawing down our forced gradually and turning the ground fighting over tho the Afghan Army. Which of course is the responsible course of action, as opposed to progressives screaming to pack up and leave tomorrow. And even the best case scenario, Obama didn't say we were leaving completely with no military force in country. Only that our mission will change to more of a support role, and anti terrorist operations..

Froomkin goes on to cite some other readings from his chicken entrails into remarks by Richard Holbrook and Hillary Clinton, claiming obscure and ominous admissions of ill intent that Obama is snookering America and doesn't really mean his announced date to start withdrawing. It is pure conjecture he is scribbling at Huff to feed the red meat to folks like Cole and the rest of the netroot anti war crowd.

Here is what Froomkin didn't tell you. If Obama significantly waffles on his policy to begin disengaging from Afghan, he will suffer at polls of a country that has markedly turned against this war and wants us to start ending it. At least ending reports of dead GI's coming home in body bags. That is what they care about, they don't care that we remain there in some capacity, and likely want us to keep chasing Al Quaida and OBL, but they want the quagmire with the Taliban to cease, at least with our involvement.

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