Blogging is cool.Â It creates a written record to back you up when you say “I told you so.”
Depending on who is telling the story, the Obama Administration has begun either “tweaking” or “publicly walking away from” the July 2011 date it set for beginning to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. “2014 Is the New Date to Watch,” as one headline put it.
The 2011 date was first floated in theÂ December 2009 West Point when the President announced he would deploy additional troops to Afghanistan.Â The next day I wrote:
I went to bed annoyed about the wishy-washyness of what David Ignatius has labeled the â€œsurge, then leaveâ€ strategy â€” why commit to a July 2011 date to begin drawing down the troops?Â The administration canâ€™t even predict how many Americans will accept free money to buy a new car. What makes them thinkÂ they can predict that the country will be stable enough to start leaving in 18 months â€” in a situation where the enemy gets a vote?
But this morning I remembered that with Guantanamo, Obama has already proven his ability to abandon a silly deadline.Â Once the troops are deployed, the boots on the ground will be real.Â The withdrawal date will be a goal.
Itâ€™s Mr. Obamaâ€™s war now.