This was dramatized last week when all but eight Democrats endorsed demands that Obama come up with plans this summer to accelerate the withdrawal of U.S. forces and pursue a negotiated settlement with “all interested parties” in Afghanistan, including the Taliban.
The amendment — offered to the annual defense authorization bill — narrowly failed, 215-204, with 26 Republicans joining in the effort and capturing the most attention. But the far greater dynamic was inside the Democratic caucus, where the lead sponsor, Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern opened the door for his colleagues by taking out any fixed timetable for withdrawal.
“I think people are uncomfortable with micromanaging how we get out,” McGovern told POLITICO. “But having said that, they still want us to get out, and that’s what this vote is about. It’s about, ‘We need to find a way to bring our troops home.’”