Passport

Three years

This, to put it very mildly, seems optimistic: President Obama is sending 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan but plans to conclude the war and withdraw most U.S. service members within three years, senior administration officials told CNN Tuesday. I would expect that Obama will probably frame this as a goal rather than a commitment tonight. ...

This, to put it very mildly, seems optimistic:

President Obama is sending 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan but plans to conclude the war and withdraw most U.S. service members within three years, senior administration officials told CNN Tuesday.

I would expect that Obama will probably frame this as a goal rather than a commitment tonight. But given the enormous strain this is accelerated strategy is going to place on the military, I hope the White House will avoid making statements like this one in the future: 

This, to put it very mildly, seems optimistic:

President Obama is sending 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan but plans to conclude the war and withdraw most U.S. service members within three years, senior administration officials told CNN Tuesday.

I would expect that Obama will probably frame this as a goal rather than a commitment tonight. But given the enormous strain this is accelerated strategy is going to place on the military, I hope the White House will avoid making statements like this one in the future: 

The push for a speedy deployment surprised some observers, because White House officials who defended Obama’s slow pace of coming to a decision had said the Pentagon wouldn’t be able to get new troops to Afghanistan that quickly.

Asked to explain that seeming contradiction, a White House official told CNN: "The president is saying this has to happen, so the military will make it happen."

Update: The White House denies it. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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