Remember how Obamas' apologists over his speech made a huge deal out of the fact that the 2011 withdrawal date for the troops he sending to Afghanistan was a timeframe and not written in stone?
Guess again, suckahs!
During the Senate Armed Services hearing today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was pressed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. on whether the July 2011 date for beginning to withdrawal troops is "locked in."
Gates seemed to suggest there was some flexibility, that "it was a clear statement of his strong intent" and that "the president always has the freedom to re-evaluate his decisions." After the hearing Graham said he took that to mean the date is "not locked in" and will depend on conditions on the ground.
It was a point of contention at the White House briefing today – I asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs if senators were incorrect calling the date a "target."
After the briefing, Gibbs went to the president for clarification. Gibbs then called me to his office to relate what the president said. The president told him it IS locked in – there is no flexibility. Troops WILL start coming home in July 2011. Period. It's etched in stone. Gibbs said he even had the chisel.
So there you have it. March up the hill,march back down in time for Obama's re-election..just make it look good.
Actually,it's even worse than that as ex- Army Ranger McQ explains over at Black Five:
..deploying troops to a theater of war takes a long lead time. Preparation and training are key. While it is probably true that there were no calls for deployments before 2010, a 3 month delay means 3 months in which the alerted units are shorted vital training time. And now the deployment cycle is going to be speeded up because he's trying to cover his tail? Guess who suffers to make him look better?
Even getting the deployment cycle initiated as quickly as possible, the troops (most likely 3 BCTs, a Marine MEU, 4,000 trainers and a command and control element of 7,000) will take 12 to 18 months to complete their deployment. So how is this a surge if as the last unit arrives in country as the first leaves?
Answer? It isn't. It's just sheer kabuki with politics foremost, just like always with this president. No wonder the cadets at West Point didn't exactly greet Obama's diktat with enthusiasm. They know better, and they realize they're being set up and the fix is in.
I know the Taliban are hardline Muslims and don't drink, but if they did,they'd be breaking out the champagne about now.