By any standards, it was an unusual White House briefing yesterday.
The door to the press room opened and, instead of the usual fare of Robert Gibbs solo, out walked Gibbs with President Obama, Vice-President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James Cartwright.
All that firepower was lined up to report on, explain, and defend the situation on the war in Afghanistan.
We didn’t really learn anything new, other than the fact that the President will travel to Pakistan next year.
But, on Afghanistan, first the president, then Clinton, Gates and Cartwright all made the same points:
- the strategy is working
- Afghan forces are stepping up to the plate and now in charge of Kabul
- the Taliban today controls less territory than it did, months ago
- but all our gains could quickly be reversed
- and we’re still on target for starting to bring troops home in July 2011 and getting all troops out by 2014
So, there was something for everybody.
If you supported the surge, you know it’s working. If you’re against the war, at least you know it’ll be over in another four years….Or so they say today.
That’s my parting shot for today.