If he is elected president, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has said on numerous occasions that he plans to begin a phased withdrawal to remove all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the summer of 2010.
But today on ABC’s This Week, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman said that as president, Obama would abandon the hunt for Osama bin Ladan and decide that the U.S. could “win the war” in Iraq by staying another six months:
FRIEDMAN: I think everything we believe could be wrong. That is Iraq could turn out — that Osama — sorry, not searching for Osama bin Laden could be not the biggest issue for Obama. I think you could actually find out that Obama can win the Iraq war and he will want to actually continue our presence in Iraq for — until 2011.
When host George Stephanopoulos noted that even Gen. David Petraeus refuses to use the terms “victory” or “winning” for Iraq, Friedman walked back his comments slightly, saying Obama would bring Iraq to a “decent ending” but ultimately, “they will conclude that Afghanistan is a loser.” Watch it:
Friedman has gained notoriety since the start of the Iraq war (which he supported) for continually boiling down “the intricacies of the Iraq situation into a make-or-break deadline” lasting “six months” — otherwise known as the “Friedman Unit.”
But it seems Friedman may have broken a promise he made in September 2007 when he announced that he would no longer be calling for six more months in Iraq to get things right. “I’m afraid we’ve run out of six months. It’s really time to set a deadline,” he said.
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