Former Professor Marc Lynch in the New York Times.

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S critics argue that his plan to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan starting in July 2011 signals a fatal lack of resolve, inviting the Taliban to wait out a feckless America, or else has no credibility. In fact, the deadline is crucial to the strategy. Yes, there are many reasons to be skeptical of the prospects for the new plan, from the hopeless corruption in Kabul to the difficulties of state-building. But a clearly communicated timeline increases the odds of success.

Read the whole thing. By “critics,” I think that Lynch is only talking about the Neocons, or whatever word you want to use to describe those who think that endless years of meddling violently in another country are a good idea. I was willing to give Afghanistan the good 8 year Williams try. No more. The sooner Obama pulls out, the better. What comments does Lynch have for “critics” like me?

The July 2011 date should be understood as an inflection point, not as the end of the American military mission. There is no “mission accomplished” here. The American commitment to Afghanistan and Pakistan will continue. The pace and location of withdrawals will be dictated by conditions on the ground and, indeed, the date itself was carefully chosen based on the military’s best calculations of improved security and political conditions. It was not drawn from a hat, or determined by the domestic political calendar.

Is Lynch really that naive? I am sure that politics has nothing to do with anything when important decisions are made in Washington DC.

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