Just how trivial will the July “drawdown” from Afghanistan be? It remains to be seen but Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is on a whirlwind tour of the region today to ensure that it is as trivial as humanly possible.
Gates warned NATO‘s European members against “ill-timed, precipitous or uncoordinated” drawdowns of troops, insisting it would reverse the mythical “gains” he and other officials keep harping on about.
The Obama Administration has repeatedly promised to start the “transition” in July, but has constantly downplayed the prospect of any more than a handful of troops leaving. The date is clearly for the voters’ benefit, and the concern is that other NATO members might see it as a real, actual thing and assume they can start withdrawing too.
But clearly that’s not supposed to happen. Once the July move comes and everyone is mollified (as with the August “end” to the Iraq War) everyone is supposed to forget about the massive, ever worsening war in Afghanistan until the end of 2014, when that “deadline” has to be disavowed or glossed over in some manner.
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