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The Politics of Troop Withdrawal

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STANFORD, CALIF. - President Obama's bullish "new day on the horizon" speech in Kabul wasn't quite "mission accomplished" but he came close to that dubious claim.

The trip had the trappings and full-blown rhetoric of a carefully worked out campaign event to squeeze whatever political capital he could from the year-old killing of Osama bin Laden that is now an old story.

In five months, the first combat troop withdrawals will start taking place and Obama, with his job approval scores still stuck in the 40s, is reaching for any issue he can grab to offset his failures on the only...