“Our hope is that we’ll be able to get away with no combat troops getting pulled out this summer. But we recognize that may not be possible.”
- anonymous U.S. official, explaining the White House and Pentagon's showdown over troop withdrawals from Afghanistan
The Washington Post reports, "Two senior military officials outlined one set of options being developed by staff officers in Kabul: the removal of almost no forces; the withdrawal of a few thousand support personnel, including headquarters staff, engineers and logisticians; and the pullout of a brigade’s worth of troops — about 5,000 personnel— by culling a battalion of Marines in Helmand province that was added after the surge, a contingent of soldiers training Afghan security forces and an Army infantry battalion in either the country’s east or far west."
We've been expecting the third option to displace the first; this may have been the plan prior to December 2009. The U.S. government cannot be allowed to walk over the anti-war movement so easily.