Biden: We’ll be “totally out” of Afghanistan in 2014

posted at 9:33 am on December 21, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Joe Biden appeared on Meet the Press on Sunday to discuss the war in Afghanistan, among other issues, and left the Wall Street Journal wondering whether the Obama administration supports its own announced policies.  While Barack Obama has spent the last year since the surge insisting that troop reductions will depend on circumstances on the ground, Biden announced that the US would pull out entirely no later than 2014:

We’ve supported President Obama’s Afghan surge, but sometimes it’s hard to tell if his Administration does. Only days after the President spoke about supporting our troops until they finish the job, Vice President Joe Biden did one of his famous foot-in-mouth numbers.

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, the master of subtle diplomatic messaging declared that on July 2011 the U.S. really will begin to leave the Afghan theater. “It will not be a token amount” of troops leaving, Mr. Biden said, adding that “We’re going to be totally of there come hell or high water by 2014.”

The White House had to do some backtracking yesterday:

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs tried to clarify yesterday that Mr. Biden was only referring to the “combat role” of U.S. forces in 2014. But Mr. Biden’s remarks will reinforce the view, widely held in Kabul and Pakistan, that the Americans are short-timers and so everyone in the region ought to make their accommodations with the Taliban. Mr. Biden’s glib rhetoric implying a lack of American staying power will in particular make it that much harder for General David Petraeus to get the support of Pakistan’s military in rooting out Taliban sanctuaries in North Waziristan and around Quetta.

And people have noticed.  On YouTube, Voice of America has already helpfully translated it for its viewers in Afghanistan.  It won’t take long for word to spread through the country that the US wants to leave in the next three years, “come hell or high water.”  Many of the Taliban have been in the field almost constantly since the Soviet invasion of 1980; another three years won’t bother them at all.

The proper message, as the WSJ notes, is to signal our long-term commitment to the democratically elected government of Afghanistan.  That doesn’t necessarily mean a combat mission, but holding onto a couple of air bases and a strategic deployment of troops will send a message of commitment.  We run the danger of losing influence in that region by signaling a desire to be “totally out of there,” a phrase which means absolutely no commitment of any kind to our allies in the area, and a signal of surrender to our enemies.

What was Biden thinking?  Obviously, Biden wants to play for his anti-war base in the hopes of re-energizing the people who put him and Barack Obama into office.  The question is whether Obama sent him out explicitly to get this message onto national TV.  If so, then this administration is playing a dishonest game with the American people.  If not, Biden’s not playing with a full deck. Either way, Biden doesn’t belong in that office, and it’s likely that the American people will come to the same conclusion about his boss.


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He also said the 2010 election was about the START Treaty.

JammieWearingFool on December 21, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Bidens GaffeTastic NeverEnding GaffeaRoo Story(ies).

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 9:36 AM

If so, then this administration is playing a dishonest game with the American people. If not, Biden’s not playing with a full deck. Either way, Biden doesn’t belong in that office, and it’s likely that the American people will come to the same conclusion about his boss.

Hey, Joe! Merry Christmas! from all of us here at HotAir!

ted c on December 21, 2010 at 9:37 AM

That’s going to be tough to do,Joe.
Hard for you to pull the troops from your place in the un-employment line.

katy the mean old lady on December 21, 2010 at 9:37 AM

He also said the 2010 election was about the START Treaty.

JammieWearingFool on December 21, 2010 at 9:36 AM

JammieWearingFool:Lol,nearly spit’nz me tea out!!:)

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 9:37 AM

What was Biden thinking?

He was thinking of topping this big eff’in deal of with a scoop of custard…

SHARPTOOTH on December 21, 2010 at 9:37 AM

That photo totally gives new meaning to “Stand up, Chuck!”

Robert_Paulson on December 21, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Hey, Joe! Merry Christmas! from all of us here at HotAir!

ted c on December 21, 2010 at 9:37 AM

ted c:)
========================================================

Monday, 20 December 2010
Reason TV: A Joe Biden (War On) Christmas

http://www.theospark.net/2010/12/reason-tv-joe-biden-war-on-christmas.html

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Is it possible to have more incompetent idiots in office than what we have now?

search4truth on December 21, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Forgot the link.

JammieWearingFool on December 21, 2010 at 9:43 AM

And people have noticed. On YouTube, Voice of America has already helpfully translated it for its viewers in Afghanistan. It won’t take long for word to spread through the country that the US wants to leave in the next three years, “come hell or high water.” Many of the Taliban have been in the field almost constantly since the Soviet invasion of 1980; another three years won’t bother them at all.
=====================================================
Team Hopey/Changey,#1 Jihady Intell Source!

BidenGaffeyLeaks………….who the hell needs Wiki-Lealk!

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Either way, Biden doesn’t belong in that office, and it’s likely that the American people will come to the same conclusion about his boss.

True. The 2012 election season will be so much fun with Biden running his mouth. Can’t wait! Unless Obaoma and team decide Joe has health issues or something.

conservative pilgrim on December 21, 2010 at 9:46 AM

He is totally an ahole.

50sGuy on December 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

So the Taliban has to hold out for how many more days….let’s see…3 years x 364 days…what does that equal?

Bishop on December 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Meanwhile….the Tall EE Bon are getting their *ss’s kicked!
===========================================================

Afghan Ultraviolence: Petraeus Triples Air War
December 14, 2010
——————-

November is ordinarily the month when the air war in Afghanistan — and really, the whole American-led campaign — ratchets down for the winter. This November, with Gen. David Petraeus in charge of the war effort, things have been different. Radically different.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/12/afghan-ultra-violence-petraeus-triples-air-war/

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 9:49 AM

He’s already ‘totally”out of his bleepin’ mind.

darwin-t on December 21, 2010 at 9:50 AM

I would not have thought it was possible to stick one’s foot in one’s mouth while one has one’s head up one’s a$$. But then came Joe.

Patrick S on December 21, 2010 at 9:52 AM

So the Taliban has to hold out for how many more days….let’s see…3 years x 364 days…what does that equal?

Bishop on December 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Bishop:Ummmm….that means the Taliban are under pressure to
take out more of the coalition forces!:)

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Obama (who surely approved Biden’s message) is playing not just to the base but to public opinion in general, no? And didn’t Michael Steele disparage the whole Afpak effort as Dr. Obama’s elective surgery? Seems to me this is pretty good domestic politics which can always be rationalized as calling Karzai’s bluff (or something).

Seth Halpern on December 21, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Forgot the link.

JammieWearingFool on December 21, 2010 at 9:43 AM

JammieWearingFool:Baghdad Biden,nightmarish!:)

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Dear Lord. Why use the Internet when telegraphing it will do? Beside, he doesn’t even know our enemies’ Internet “number”./

kingsjester on December 21, 2010 at 9:54 AM

The question is whether Obama sent him out explicitly to get this message onto national TV. If so, then this administration is playing a dishonest game with the American people.

My take is close to that. I think Biden mindlessly let Øbama’s cat out of the bag. I think Biden has been privy to Øbama’s underlying intent to withdraw, come hell or high water, and Biden made the mistake of outing him on that.

petefrt on December 21, 2010 at 9:59 AM

If only Stalin knew!

Seth Halpern on December 21, 2010 at 10:02 AM

I can’t believe his clown is still talked about as a VP candidate in 2012. He is an idiot.

kens on December 21, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Afghans never heard of 9/11, I’m sure they haven’t heard of Biden either.

/s

Phoenician on December 21, 2010 at 10:03 AM

What was Biden thinking?

Don’t assume that he even was….

Wethal on December 21, 2010 at 10:05 AM

I think before the 2012 campaigns, Biden will retire due to “health reasons.”

Don’t know who the replacement will be. Hillary has said no more campaigns, and Michelle would not want the Clintons hogging the limelight. That’s why she nixed Hillary for VP in the first place.

Wethal on December 21, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Why don’t we just sign an “honorable” peace and get out?
Biden’s virtually handing the Taliban the victory 3 years early.

Our poor soldiers. First repealing DADT which they don’t want and now this.
Make no mistake: More soldiers will get killed because Biden said this.

Jenfidel on December 21, 2010 at 10:16 AM

What was Biden thinking?

That’s rhetorical, right?

jnelchef on December 21, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Can’t they just have this clown cut ribbons for the next couple of years?

Hummer53 on December 21, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Biden: We’ll be “totally out” of Afghanistan in 2014

More withdrawal dates from the administration that never talks about victory.

Apparently “slow Joe” is so lost that he doesn’t realize how much of a mistake it was to send troops into battle with the 2011 exit date.

What’s next….slow Joe going to promise 500,000 jobs a month in Afghanistan to.

Baxter Greene on December 21, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Biden is the gift that keeps on giving.

Dandapani on December 21, 2010 at 10:37 AM

What was Biden thinking?

I am a piece of $h!t?

Never mind, that’s what I think of Biden.

My bad.

Branch Rickey on December 21, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Achmid for VP!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW9Vfl3vObY

lobo603 on December 21, 2010 at 11:01 AM

“We’re going to be totally of there come hell or high water by 2014.”

Biden, if you are actually refering to you and your boss following the aftermath of the upcoming 2012 Presidential Election, trust us, we sincerely hope so!

pilamaye on December 21, 2010 at 11:22 AM

I’d say by 2013 it won’t be his decision anyway.

clement on December 21, 2010 at 5:41 PM