Petraeus's New Offensive: Preparing the Way for Obama to Retract the Withdrawal Pledge

General David Petraeus is in the midst of his Afghanistan offensive.

But it's not against the Taliban; it's against those in Congress, and
those of us in the public, who oppose the ongoing-and escalating-Afghan

Petraeus is preparing the battlefield for next summer, when President
Obama is on record as saying the withdrawal from Afghanistan will

Petraeus announced very publicly over the weekend that he didn't take
the job as top general in Afghanistan to preside over "a graceful
exit," and he affirmed that he may advise Obama to delay the withdrawal.

Some in the media claim Petraeus is trying to strengthen his position
against those in the Administration who want to greatly reduce the U.S.
military presence in Afghanistan.

But I'm not buying that.

I believe Petraeus is doing what his commander in chief wants him to do.

Look, if Obama didn't want Petraeus popping up all over the weekend
talk shows and sitting down with the New York Times, he would have
ordered the general back to Afghanistan.

But for the White House, something was more important than the upcoming assault on Kandahar.

And that's to give Obama room to retreat from his pledge last December.

And even that pledge was hedged like a French garden: "We will
execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on
the ground," he said at the time.

Watch for those words "conditions on the ground" to come around again next July.

Join Us: News for people demanding a better world

Common Dreams is powered by optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.

We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter makes the difference.

Your contribution supports this bold media model—free, independent, and dedicated to reporting the facts every day. Stand with us in the fight for economic equality, social justice, human rights, and a more sustainable future. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!

© 2023 The Progressive