After Robert Gates and Lindsey Graham suggested that Obama’s July 2011 date for withdrawal of Afghanistan troops was not set in stone, reporter Chip Reid decided to follow up and make sure:
It was a point of contention at the White House briefing today – I asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs if senators were incorrect calling the date a “target.”
After the briefing, Gibbs went to the president for clarification. Gibbs then called me to his office to relate what the president said. The president told him it IS locked in – there is no flexibility. Troops WILL start coming home in July 2011. Period. It’s etched in stone. Gibbs said he even had the chisel.
I hope the Taliban is listening. If they can just hold on for a couple more years, the country is theirs.