On July 1, 2010, there was a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives which, if you were a Democrat representing a Democratic district, was as revealing of who you are on issues of war and peace as a TSA porno-scanner.
Practically speaking, the answer to when the Afghan War will be over is: just this side of never. As with any clever time traveler, every date that's set always contains a verbal escape hatch into the future.
If you were going to draw up a list of five things that President Obama could do that would be likely to draw a primary challenge in 2012, throwing the Afghanistan drawdown in the trash would surely be on that list.
What's generally missing from the frequent assertion, "The Taliban will not negotiate if they think they're winning" is any specific information about the Taliban that would allow us to draw this conclusion.
The Iraq war is not over. This is not a left-wing critique. The consensus of the mainstream U.S. print media is that the 50,000 U.S. troops who remain there have been rebranded from "combat" brigades to "advise-and-assist" brigades.
No reporter has asked Mr. Petraeus during his current media tour about the contradiction between his current advocacy for delaying the withdrawal and his "Yes, sir" under explicit questioning that he would not ask for more time.