Don’t pack your bags yet…

Another data point we’re in Afghanistan for awhile from Marc Ambinder.  A bid request for delivery of fuel to forces at Bagram Air Base:

This requirement is solicited in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Period of performance is 01 SEP 2011 – 31 AUG 2013.

I don’t know if it’s just me or what but over the past couple of days when talking about Afghanistan and the withdrawal of U.S. forces I’ve been struck by the repeated phrase that ‘a reduction of forces will begin in 2011′.  Let’s face it, that can mean just about anything.  I looked at the speech where Obama laid out his time table and wonder if I may have combined these two phrases in my memory:

We will remove our combat brigades from Iraq by the end of next summer, and all of our troops by the end of 2011.

But 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.

So, there really is quite a bit of wiggle room in that Afghan commitment.

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