Afghanistan Ending Sooner Rather Than Later

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced today that American forces will withdraw from a major combat role and focus on advising and training a year ahead of the scheduled complete withdrawal date.

BRUSSELS — In a major milestone toward ending a decade of war in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said on Wednesday that American forces would step back from a combat role there as early as mid-2013, more than a year before all American troops are scheduled to come home. [...]

Mr. Panetta offered no details of what stepping back from combat would mean, saying only that the troops would move into an “advise-and-assist” role to Afghanistan’s security forces. Such definitions are typically murky, particularly in a country like Afghanistan, where American forces are spread widely among small bases across the desert, farmland and mountains, and where the native security forces have a mixed record of success at best.

The defense secretary offered the withdrawal of the United States from Iraq as a model. American troops there eventually pulled back to large bases and left the bulk of the fighting to the Iraqis.

Panetta didn’t offer many specifics but, if you follow the withdrawal from Iraq as a model, which was seemingly successful, there’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

You can expect to see a parade of “experts” who will now tell us that setting time tables emboldens the enemy and is equivalent to waving the white flag. Claims that were proven to be patently false in Iraq. And these are the same people who said we would be greeted as liberators a decade ago.

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  • drsquid

    But you know, warmonger just like Bush, because shut up that’s why.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Ended the war in Iraq.
    Winding down the war in Afghanistan.
    Killed Bin Laden.
    Saved the auto industry.

    Obama: Cleaning up the GOP’s messes.

    • ArrogantDemon

      Barack Obama: The Cleaner

  • http://twitter.com/KQuark KQµårk™

    Personally I was elated with the news. Then I go to DailyKOS and some emoprog writes a totally sarcastic column claiming it’s too long. I have no problem with people who think we should be out already, I wish it was faster too but the unbelievable tone we see today on the most serious issues shows how little class both sides have shown recently.

    • ArrogantDemon

      I’m shocked they havent made the charge that this will only mean we’re going into Iran, even though iran is now willing to discuss terms and negotiate.

      They’re gonna be real pissed as we keep taking away their binkies

  • The_Dork_Knight

    Excellent news!