Biden's Way Off on 'Total' Afghanistan Pullout

VP claimed departure 'come hell or high water'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 20, 2010 12:16 PM CST
President Barack Obama, joined by Vice President Joe Biden at left, speaks before signing the bipartisan tax package that extends tax cuts for families at all income levels, Friday, Dec. 17, 2010.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Joe Biden was in the spotlight this weekend for saying the US would follow its Iraq model and be “totally” out of Afghanistan by 2014, “come hell or high water.” Well, that’s just wrong, writes Justin Elliott in Salon. For one thing, withdrawal from Iraq hasn’t meant “total withdrawal.” As for 2014 in Afghanistan, a NATO rep called that a “goal,” not a “deadline.”

Furthermore, “it's not the end of the mission,” the NATO spokesperson noted, but "an inflection point where the balance of the mission would have shifted." President Obama himself said that the “goal” is for Afghans to “have taken the lead in 2014,” while we transition to “providing a training and support function.” Biden “is either confused or he's being disingenuous,” Elliott concludes.

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