Secretary of Defense Robert Gates openly clashed with his top commander in Afghanistan today, insisting that Petraeus was wrong is saying he might recommend a delay in the July 2011 drawdown.
“I think that by next year I’ll be in a position where – you know, we’re going to know whether the strategy is working in Afghanistan,” Gates insisted. “We’ll have completed the surge. We’ll have done the assessment in December. And it seems like somewhere there in 2011 is a logical opportunity to hand off.
But Petraeus had suggested that the assessment itself might be moved back to July 2011, and that he didn’t feel bound by the president’s July 2011 date, particularly since Obama himself has disavowed the date as having any real meaning. Officials have been openly talking about doing a nominal drawdown of a few thousand troops in July, seemingly just so the president could claim to keep his promise while continuing the war.
Secretary Gates’ comments that he has “no question” that the drawdown will happen must also be taken with a grain of salt, as he said in the same interview that he intends to retire at some point in 2011. This must leave us wondering if Gates will even be around by July, let alone in a position to enforce the drawdown.
13 thoughts on “Gates Dismisses Petraeus Comments on Delaying Afghan Drawdown”
Petraeus is trying to buy time so that the troops will still be there in Afghanistan when he gets inaugurated in January, 2013.
Obama, of course, will helpfully oblige him rather than risk upsetting the establishment by doing the right thing.
can you say defense secretary petraeus
Equivocate, equivocate, equivocate. That's the only thing these guys know how to do well.
This is looking like a tug-of-war between the powerful Pentagon and the White House. We lose no matter who emerges as winner. Pentagon has grown unchecked over the years and has investigation agents here among civilians..like another CIA.
Watch out America…Pentagon could take us over by martial law. Never trust these generals…they call civilian deaths "collateral damage." They (civilians) are not human beings, but nothing more than wild shrubbery. Petraeus, McChrystal, etc. Never trust these guys.
two of the war party's stalwarts arguing over the imperial pronouncement of the Emperor who could of course see that in June of 2011 the great imperial forces would have successfully subdued the rebel alliance. What grand theatre to distract attention away from the the abyss we're all sinking into.
Pentagon takes orders from IDF (Israel Defense Force).
All part of the fascist mass murderers delusion… they will continue to slaughter and carry out terrorist atrocities until the empire collapses…..soon !!!
Oh don't worry Gates will be a feature of American life as long as he can still push papers. He is a sort of Dick Cheney character. He may even be more powerful behind the scenes.
Petraeus is killing civillians for Jesus again…
Withdraw now or still suffer casualties.
It is Gates who announced retirement…
I thought it was the job of a general to salute and say, "Yes, sir," to the President and Secretary of Defense, not try to MAKE POLICY, at least that was the policy when I served as a woman marine in the Korean War. Otherwise, he may find himself employed as a lecturer at Yale, same as McChrystal.
Do not delay please.
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