"At the [NATO] meeting in Lisbon that kicks off Friday, Obama and his NATO partners are expected to formalize a plan to hand over security duties to Afghan forces by 2014."
"A year ago, Obama boosted the number of US troops in Afghanistan to 100,000 troops but promised to begin transferring security responsibility to Afghan forces by July 2011."
"The timetable for withdrawal has had to adapt to conditions on the ground, in the face of a fierce and persistent Taliban insurgency."
"Also, even if the combat mission comes to an end by 2014, observers stress that some US military presence in Afghanistan is likely beyond that point -- similar to the situation in Iraq."
"Over nine years since the conflict began, and with this year the deadliest year for NATO forces there . . ."
"But he [John McCain] maintained that in Lisbon, Obama should give a "very, very strong statement that we're in this thing to win, that withdrawal to the middle of 2011 is notional, but 2014 is really the year that we would expect to have significant withdrawals."
Snippets from an article by Deb Riechmann of the Associated Press and printed in The Arizona Republic this morning, 11/16/10:
"President Hamid Karzai has interfered in corruption cases and even threatened to join the Taliban if foreigners didn't stop meddling."
"Now he is demanding that the U.S.-led coalition begin reducing its military operations and stop what the military believes is its most successful tactic—night raids against suspected Taliban commanders."
"Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar ... appealed for funding from Muslims around the world—a sign that NATO's campaign may be hurting the militants far more than acknowledged."
"Karzai remained unconvinced. "I would like to have an end to these nighttime raids in Afghan homes no matter how effective they are in the sense of the military in the United States or in NATO."
In my non-humble opinion, President George W. Obama is breaking another promise (health care for every American was first) and, on the advice of Rush McCain “that we're in this thing to win,” is committing we, the people, to years more of human injury both physical and mental, human death, and billions more dollars that belong here at home.
If President Hamid Karzai wants the US and NATO out of his fifth-world country because the coalition is capturing and killing too many of his Taliban friends, THEN LET’S GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!!
This heartfully-rendered rant is brought to you by a sad member of
Addition, 11/18/10: From Daniel Maxson at Newsy after he read this post: