“At Pentagon, Panetta Era Begins With Blunt Talk” by Elisabeth Bumiller (TIMES, 7/13/11)

Blunt talk from someone who is on the wrong page of the game plan is nothing to cheer about. Is Secretary of Defense Panetta in agreement with President Obama that all U.S. troops will be withdrawn from the Afghanistan quagmire by the end of 2014?
It is bad enough that the U.S. will still have 70,000 troops there at the end of 2012. Winding down the war in Afghanistan too slowly can work against actually completing the withdrawal, especially in the wake of Ahmed Wali Karzai’s assassination (TIMES, 7/13/11), which could be used as an excuse to put everything on hold.
1646 American service members have already died in this war. Does blunt-talking Panetta know what that number will be by the end of this year?


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