Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that he planned to press Gen. David Petraeus at confirmation hearings on his commitment to President Obama’s plan to beginning withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan in July 2011. “The withdrawal of U.S. troops must be based on conditions at the time, not on an arbitrary date,” said McCain. ABC News’ George Steohanopoulos reported this morning that Petraeus “assured Obama” yesterday that “he would support the deadline.” In a brief interview today with CNN’s Dana Bash, Petraeus once again reiterated his support for Obama’s plan, including the July 2011 date:
BASH: Do you see yourself doing anything to change the 2011 deadline to begin troop withdrawal?
PETRAEUS: No, as I said, I support the President’s policy and I will also provide my best professional military advice as we conduct assessments.