July 5th, 2010
01:05 PM ET

Critics press Obama on withdrawal deadline

The July 2011 deadline to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan is unrealistic and unhelpful, Afghan Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.

"First, if you over-emphasize a deadline that is not realistic, you are making the enemy a lot more bold," Jawad said. "You are prolonging the war. That deadline should be realistic. The line should be based on the reality on the ground and we should give a clear message to the enemy, to the terrorists who are a threat to everyone, that the United States, NATO, Afghans are there to finish this job."

He continued, "If that's not the feeling, we lost the support of the Afghan people, and also make the neighboring countries of interest a lot more bolder to interfere in Afghanistan."

President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus, who has replaced Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, have said they would begin withdrawal in July 2011 depending on conditions on the ground.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, questioned the wisdom of a firm deadline to start withdrawing forces.

"I'm all for dates for withdrawal, but that's after the strategy succeeds, not before," said McCain, the Republican presidential candidate in 2008 who was in Afghanistan for the Fourth of July weekend.

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Filed under: Obama • Troops
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. CGeorgeK

    Our perception of other countries as helpless, defenseless, so in need of our help – is the illusion we suffer. We spend zillions in foreign aid and zillions more making efforts that – if these countries really wanted democracy – would make on their own. I can see giving a little help, but we are way too broke to do it for them, or do it until they grow up enough to take over. Our economy is going down the drain because of foreign aid and war... and it is the incestuous relationship between Congress government and big business that perpetuates this line of action. Perhaps, we need a new American Revolution to free ourselves from the tyranny of our own government.

    July 10, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Larry Valecia, Calif.

    The General know which is the best time to withdraw!... At least not like Bush Obama listen to them!!!

    July 10, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sam

    I'm all for dates for withdrawal, but that's after the strategy succeeds, not before," said McCain

    So he is for dates after the sucess. So untill sucess which we do not know when it is comming he is not for dates. And after sucess he is for dates which means on whatever day forces will come back McCain is ok for that day to have a date. I guess no one can disagree wtih that one.

    July 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom Posey

      I can't disagree with that at all, but that probably has as much to do with my lack of intellect as it's accuracy.

      July 10, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
      • thiswarisnonsense

        i can agree with that if we are not there for the first 9 whole years. now i just think he is saying it to justify the additional spending that's going to happen. its like "oh crap, we lost one million dollars in a gamble", (failed to capture Osama, and FAILED to find Weapons of Mass Destruction) "but we can't stop, we have to win all those moneys back, so we are going to put in two more millions, and we will get five millions back!" (now just nation construction) we should have pulled back when we find out there is Weapons of Mass Destruction, instead of going further, for no reason, and in another fifty years or so the place is going to go back to where it was, corrupt government, oppressive tyrant, one more dictator.

        July 10, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. thiswarisnonsense

    i really do not understand what most of you people think or want at this point. some you want US to help Afgan so that we can get a better sense security, then you whine we are going to go bankrupt economically because of the enormous amount of spending that the goverment is pulling through, a country is not really a taffy you know? you can't keep pulling it and pulling it until it stretches so thin it almost feel like a sheet of paper. i am almost urged to ask what do you really want? or are you just a group of online yahoos that can only talk and dream and cannot comprehend the reality... also remind again why we want to help Afgan people out by training them and pour hundred of billion of tax payer dollars into their nation construction again? we can totally use those money to renew our economy and possibly improve our life. is your sense of security in this country so lacking that you think we will get nuked or destroyed just because we don't go around and kick butts and save the weak? we should really start to focus on ourselves more, until we recover from our crisis, i think we should stop being the world's policeman and hand over our badge to someone who is more fit for the job.

    July 9, 2010 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      Good idea but first we will have to deal with those 'godless taliban' who don't count as human. Then we can sit down together in peace.

      July 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      What are you talking about Danial ? together in peace? what will happen to our war industry? You know how many jobs will be lost? Got to find a new enemy once we are done with Godless muslims. May be we can go back to fight the Godless Russians again?

      July 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • thiswarisnonsense

      ah... well... i am pro-gun sorry. guns don't kill people, people kill people. you know what's the difference between Christians and Muslims? Christian look more toward current life while you Muslims look more toward after life, that's why your society never evolves, that's why there are suicide bombers. i am sorry to tell you but your version of Martyr and Jihadism is not exactly appealing to me. in another word, you guys are too Archaic ...

      July 9, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MaryM

    For all those who assume we get all our oil from the ME. The top 5 provides are (in order) 1. Canada 2. Mexico 3. Saudi Arabia 4. Venezuela and 5. Nigeria. I don't recall us going to any of those countries and starting wars.. So put your conspiracy theories away and focus on the topic at hand. My opinion is the withdrawal is too soon given the situation in Afghanistan.

    July 8, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Info

      Googel search for mitworld video and search for Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Then keep asking questions...you'll see it.

      July 9, 2010 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. Larry Valecia, Calif.

    News Briefs
    Israel National News Thu, 08 Jul 2010 08:53 AM PDT
    The Ramallah-based Al-Quds , Al-Ayyam and the Al-Hayat al-Jadida were all stopped by Hamas from distributing their newspapers in Gaza this week. The newspapers were originally prevented from entering Gaza three years ago when Israel closed the crossings after Hamas seized control of the region.

    July 8, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Larry Valecia, Calif.

    Turkey again warns Israel over flotilla attacks
    Middle East Online Thu, 08 Jul 2010 08:54 AM PDT
    Turkish FM says Israel should accept accountability for deadly flotilla attack if it wants to improve ties with Turkey.

    July 8, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Larry Valecia, Calif.

    Abbas to Arabs: We'd Support a War Against Israel
    Israel National News Thu, 08 Jul 2010 08:54 AM PDT
    Follow Israel news on and . Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told Arab leaders that the PA is ready to wage war on Israel if the rest of the Arab world does, according to the PA daily Al-Hayat al-Jadida as translated by Palestinian Media Watch.

    July 8, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. john

    It is extremely naive to think that withdrawing US and Coalition troops from Afghanistan is going to bring peace to the country. Afghans have been emersed in war for the past thirty years. It is all they know and it is going to take real effort on both the part of the US and the Afghan people. When the US first entered Afghanistan the Taliban only resisted momentarily and were then given instructions to put down their weapons and await future instructions. Mohammad Omar decided to devote his resources to waging an insurgent campaign so we must have the same resolve with defeating the insurgency. Upon leaving the previous government will mount an offensive campaign against the current government and there will be civil war. A country in termoil is a perfect place for contempt, and unless we are there to handle business that contemp will breed a campaign of violent actions against the US and our western Allies.

    July 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Larry Valecia, Calif.

    At least Obama's way we have a chance for withdraw!!! It was Bush that got us into both mess... He should have left the troops in Afghanistan instead of starting another war in Iraq!!!

    July 8, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  11. Paul

    People, if NATO was serious about winning they would each send 50,000 troops. We should have at least 500,000 over there. There is all this talk about giving the soldiers what they need to finish the job – what they need is more troops...its only common sense – its not a "surge." Its overwhelming the enemy. I'm only 26 and I said from the beginning in Iraq that we needed more troops, and then we got them and things got better...its only commons sense. If you have 1 guy, and we have 20 or 30...they we will win, I promise. War makes money, thats why we don't end it. A group of 40 nations can't be a ragtag army like the Taliban...its pathetic. Every country in the world that doesn't like us is laughing because they know that the U.S. can't just come in their country and kick their butts like we claim.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      CORRECTIONS: Thats "then we will win, I promise." And "a group of 40 nations can't beat a ragtag...."

      July 8, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.

        If Israel could beat all the Muslin Countries... The United States sure can win the Afghanistan and Iraq wars!!!

        July 8, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.

      Why would they send troops when the United States does it for them???

      July 8, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. cecile ramirez from philippines...

    wow..i was amazed of all your comments..and i do believed and respects all your stands,regarding the issues,we are talking to..but then,i am into to president obama's stand to pull out the US troops in afghanistan..i do believed that the US soldiers don't need to proved that they won the war..i salutes them all,for their doing best on their job and so much devotions to their oath,and for serving their nations and the people of afghanistan..more power on US soldiers...

    July 8, 2010 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.

      Amen to that!!!

      July 8, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. FAZAL HAKIM ANDALEEB

    obama shold read the history .we will kill your all boys as ee did with britishs in the past .you dont know pokhthoons this is our history that .

    July 8, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.

      The History was every one went there to take them over... We are training them to take care of themselves!!! That is completely different...

      July 8, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      Cant tell if this is a serious comment...please help me on this. It is spelled pokhtoons (not pokhthoons) and they might be the worlds worst fighting force. They do a poor job of killing and when they do succeed at it, it is in the most cowardly fashion possible. Then they parade it around on videos like they are the baddest most intimidating people ever to walk the earth. There is nothing more frightening than the power of the US military and anyone that has anything to do with the insurgency knows that. ???this guy serious

      July 8, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      When you say "we will kill your all boys as ee did with britishs in the past " i hate to say the you are mistaken FAZAL. The numbers on the british war in afghanistan (1878): Afghan dead and wounded 12,700+ / British dead and wounded 1,630+. 4500 british were killed in the 1st anglo-afghan war to an unknown number of afghans (was considered afghan victory but far from a slaughter)

      July 8, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaryM

      fazal,

      There is no force more powerful on this earth than the American soldier (sorry allies). It would suit you best to cooperate and embrace peace.

      July 8, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Smith in Oregon

    Rachel Maddow in Afghanistan made the very clear observation, 'the deadline by President Obama is holding the Afghanistan Govt's feet to the fire to pursue the nation rebuilding effort while America is briefly in the country. Without the deadline, the Afghanistan people and Govt. has absolutely not reason nor pressure to assume protection and regional governance themselves. America won the battle over Al Qaeda in Afghanistan years ago there are as few as only 50 Al Qaeda fighters in all of Afghanistan.

    Nation rebuilding is not a goal of the US Military and there is no 'win' if that succeeds or fails, that is entirely up to the Afghanistan people and the US State Dept. Pouring 100 Billion dollars into Afghanistan under the guise of hunting 50 Al Qaeda fighters is utterly disgusting when the entire Republican Potty obstructs, blocks and votes NO to helping millions of unemployed Americans with unemployment payments and benefits.

    July 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.

      It was proven after Bush Jr pulled the troops out the Tarriest came right back in... If we Train them to take care of themselves they will do the job themselves!!! With a deadline they know they can't take their time learning... That way they will be ready to take care of themselves!!! Instead of us being there... Win win both sides!!!

      July 8, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      Someone has spent too much time on WhiteHouse.gov. In know way are republicans against unemployed americans. it is the poor economic policies of the democratic party that are difficult to vote yes for. in an ideal world where money meant nothing and everyone was completely reasonable the democratic party may be king but we dont live in this type of world. The democrats have a terrible history of supporting rosey ideas that do not have any foundation or chance of working as hoped. It is similar to democrats thinking that afghanistan will just set up a government and go on their merry way if the US troops are pulled out. It is just too far from the truth. Too much creativity and too little rational thinking plagues todays democratic "potty"...haha hilarious

      July 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Shifty P.

    Everyone wants the troops out of combat. But not many people have asked themselves " what happens when they do leave Afghanistan" the al-queada and Taliban will begin to grow larger and thrive without the glorious U.S and Allies fighting and killing them off. then think about the people who have to deal with those insurgents. All of the American men and women who died over there would have died in vain if the war wasnt going to be finished in the first place. OMG wake up people think beyond the fact that one of your family members are fighting over there. Dont be so selfish, America is trying to fix things over there, so for God sakes let them fight! Let them Win!! USA! USA! USA!

    July 7, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jester

      really? then what do you say about the men who faught in Veitnam! US left veitnam (certainly not victorious), Just as US left , everything was back in order.

      July 8, 2010 at 5:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.

      If they aren't ready the Tarriest move back in like they did before!!!

      July 8, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Shifty P.

      Thats were you have mistaken Jester. the aftermath of the vietnam war was still a little messy. Things in the U.S didnt cool down until a few years after. There still was no order in Vietnam, at least not how it is now. And the men over in vietnam were forced to quit the war. Moral was low and Casualties mounted. Its not as bad in afghanistan as it was in vietnam. the Vietnam war was more of a Mental war than Physical . If you can get to your enemy Mentally , its gonna be a piece of cake to get them Physically. And get a life, who actually wakes up at 5 something in the mornin to post a comment on the web. At least watch the news.

      July 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Albert

    " I have been to Afghanistan and even though the Country needs lots of work the Afghans need to stand up on their own.
    Freedom was not given to us on a silver platter and they need to stand up and fight for themselves. America cannot afford to stay in the Country any longer. Success cannot be measured in a few years but in generations to come. The politicians have mastered what to say to the public to stay in Afghanistan but it's unrealistic.

    July 6, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.

      Things was a lot different in the United States than it is there!... We are fighting Enemies that didn't have the same Weapons to fight against us!!! They get their weapons from Russia and China... That makes it a lot harder war to fight!!!

      July 8, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  17. Jacqueline

    I think that we first need to have a clear picture of what our goals are. Clear, measurable, achievable goals. Only then can we say whether or not we can actually accomplish these goals, if they're realistic. Secondly, if we don't have suggestions to make things better, only complaints and criticism, we need to keep our worthless comments to ourselves.

    July 6, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Albert

      "Well anyone in their right mind would see that if after 9 years you have not come up with a clear picture as how to define a win in Afghanistan we wont ever. If the Afghans want freedom and democracy they need to fight for themselves.

      July 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.

        You have to train their Troops and Police to do so... So that they can protect themselves!!! The Tarriest train their Killers before they fight against us...

        July 8, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Info

      mitworld.mit.edu/video/488

      July 9, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  18. Smith in Oregon

    The Nation of Turkey should totally severe any and all ties it has made and built up with Israel over many decades.

    Turkey should immediately ban all Israeli flights in Turkey's airspace and call upon Russia to supply Turkey with its advanced medium range S-300 anti-aircraft missile battery's in case Israel goes rabid on Turkey again.

    NATO should be demanded by Turkey and other NATO country's to immediately move to punish Israel as per the NATO treaty which entirely makes it clear that attacks upon a NATO nation is an attack upon all NATO nations.

    International and NATO laws dictate and are very clear that attacks upon a NATO flagged ship in International Waters is the same as an attack upon that nation of that ship. The NATO treaty demands a heavy response against Israel.

    Turkey should demand Interpol and the International Courts charge Israeli Officials with International Crimes of Piracy, Execution of its citizens, Theft of it's NATO flagged vessel and supplies on the high seas in International Waters, Torturing it's citizens and Attempting to cover up the evidence of International Crimes against Turkey.

    July 5, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.

      Right Turkey puts Armed Men on a ship to attack Israel and Israel should get the Blame!!! I guess the United States and the rest of the world were wrong to fight against Hitler too right???

      July 8, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  19. Smith in Oregon

    Of course the Republican Oil War kings are going to say, scream and try everything they can to continue America's occupation and war in Afghanistan they can. During the recent CNN Candy Crowley interview, a Republican lawmaker stated he expected and hoped US Military would be in Afghanistan in force for the next 50 years.

    The Republican lawmakers track record in domestic spending, funding programs and projects is utterly abysmal. I don't blame the Republican politicians on trying to steer America's attention away from America's critical need to build more schools, repair it's crumbling infra-structure, move away from it's utterly addiction to crude Oil, build more manufacturing bases in America, repair it's harbors, levees, dams, bridges, freeways, schools and water supplys.

    The 1 Trillion dollars spent on the remaining 100 at most Al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan would pay for Universal Health Coverage for every man, woman and child in America AND the American taxpayer money spent in Afghanistan this year alone would be LESS than it would take to continue funding Universal Health Care for all Americans.

    America has far more important issues, programs and projects at home to deal with. Rebuilding Afghanistan's schools, bridges, roads and infra-structure appears to be a Republican goal, it is not an American goal whose Homeland Security is being threatened by a vast state of disrepair.

    July 5, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaryM

      Do you even know where we get our oil from? Canada and Mexico are our largest oil supplies, along with Venezuela. Afghanistan is not rich in oil and neither is Iraq. Just because they have oil doesn't mean they're going to give it all to us. We're there to fight terrorist so put away the conspiracy theories.

      July 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • abdul Rahim

        You are very right, we do get most of our oil from Canada and Mexico, but there also on N America. If you want cheap oil to sustain this ridiculous American lifestyle of wasting natural resources( ex: heating/ ac is a norm all yr round w/ inefficient systems, household have 2 or 3 cars, air, and other transport is going empty year round and only expanding with no efficiency. Then you must quite literally "destroy" and "rob" countries who are just sitting on natural resources. THE POINT IS WE ARE TRYING TO SETTLE DOWN IN THE MIDDLE EAST, LIKE WHEN ISRAELI SETTLERS MOVE INTO A PALESTINIAN "TERRITORY" THEY MIGHT NOT SAY THAT THERE TAKING OVER AND TAKING EVERYTHING, BUT IT EVENTUALLY HAPPENS ANYWAY. great system isent? 🙂

        July 10, 2010 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
    • bob in iraq

      Mary M,

      He an idiot, what do you expect, if smith is in Oregon. I suspect NOT or he not over fifteen years old.

      July 9, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |