Rethink Afghanistan released a video yesterday that juxtaposes Obama calling for a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by July 2011 against Petraeus's comments (made earlier this week) that suggest a pull-out by that date may not be possible.
In December 2009 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, President Obama spoke to the nation about the Afghanistan war strategy. His message was clear:
Some call for a more dramatic and open-ended escalation of our war effort--one that would commit us to a nation-building project of up to a decade. I reject this course because it sets goals beyond what can be achieved at a reasonable cost...Taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011
But in comments earlier this week to NBC's Meet the Press, The Washington Post, and others, Petraeus seemed to suggest that he isn't in agreement with that strategy. He told Meet the Press host David Gregory:
What the president very much wants from me and what we talked about in the Oval Office is the responsibility of a military commander on the ground to provide his best professional military advice. Leave the politics to him...Certainly, I am aware of the context in which I offer that advice but that just informs the advice, it doesn't drive it. The situation on the ground drives it.
ReThink Afghanistan just released a video featuring clips from Obama's statements at the West Point speech last year, criticizing him for backtracking on his promises.