Timelines Gone Wild!

James Carafano /

When is a timeline not really a timeline? When the President says so. See GITMO, Healthcare, etc…now add Afghanistan.

At a press conference today, President Obama said of his Afghanistan withdrawal timeline, “We didn’t say we’d be switching off the lights and closing the door behind us. We said we’d begin a transition phase in which the Afghan government to take more and more responsibility.” Good news for folks who think we ought to fight our wars to win? Guess again.

If the start date for the withdrawal is not such a big deal after all, then why did the President announce one to begin with? Easy. The answer is that it was for domestic political consumption—an implicit promise to his political supporters that Afghanistan would be off the table by the time it came to gear up for the 2012 presidential campaign. (more…)