On one hand, American military leaders like General Petraeus or Senators like John McCain, argue the US must remain in Afghanistan until Hell freezes over or the Taliban are gone–whichever comes first. On the other hand, President Obama insists troops will begin leaving dear old Afghanistan sometime next year. According to Rahm Emanuel departure begins somewhere around July, 2011. “That’s not changing. Everybody agreed on that date.” Of course, the “everybody” appears to mean Petraeus, Defense Secretary Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen. Gates is caught between the opposing views and argues, “We clearly understand that in July of 2011, we begin to draw down our forces. The pace with which we draw down and hnow many we draw down is going to be conditions-based.”
Casualties continue mounting. Each day brings bad news. Exactly, how troops will be withdrawn when men are getting killed and the incompetent Afghanistan government is disliked, remains the mystery of the year.