Posted by Lex, on November 10, 2010
It turns out – once again – that governing responsibly is far harder than campaigning exuberantly.
The Obama administration has decided to begin publicly walking away from what it once touted as key deadlines in the war in Afghanistan in an effort to deemphasize President Barack Obama’s pledge that he would begin withdrawing U.S. forces in July 2011, administration and military officials have told McClatchy News Service…
What a year ago had been touted as an extensive December review of the strategy now also will be less expansive and will offer no major changes in strategy, the officials said. So far, the U.S. Central Command, the military division that oversees Afghanistan operations, hasn’t submitted any kind of withdrawal order for forces for the July deadline, two of those officials said.
The shift already has begun privately and came in part because U.S. officials realized that conditions in Afghanistan were unlikely to allow a speedy withdrawal.
The United States is open to the idea of keeping troops in Iraq past a deadline to leave next year if Iraq asks for it, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Tuesday.
“We’ll stand by,” Mr. Gates said. “We’re ready to have that discussion if and when they want to raise it with us.”
Mr. Gates urged Iraq’s squabbling political groups to reconcile after eight months of deadlock. Any request to extend the U.S. military presence in Iraq would have to come from a functioning Iraqi government. It would amend the current agreement under which U.S. troops must leave by the end of 2011.
“That initiative clearly needs to come from the Iraqis; we are open to discussing it,” Mr. Gates said.
U.S. and Iraqi officials have said for months that they expect Iraqi leaders to eventually ask for an extension of the military agreement with the U.S., but the political impasse has put the idea on hold.
In related news, the campaign to “regain America’s moral stature” in the world by shutting down the detention center at Guantanamo Bay will have to wait just a little longer. By which I mean, “indefinitely.” So far, the world seems prepared to accept that.
Back in the 2008 presidential campaign, some of the more avidly feverish denizens of the fever swamps were openly concerned that should Obama win the election, the Bu$hChaneyHalliburton cabal would somehow suspend the Constitution in order thwart the national will and keep their evil Rethuglican racist foreign policy of evil racism in place.
Entirely unnecessary, in the event.