Gibbs: Pullout date gives Karzai deadline

AP News
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Posted: Dec 02, 2009 2:01 PM

The White House spokesman is saying President Barack Obama set a July 2011 date for the beginning of a U.S. troop withdrawal to make sure the Afghan government knows it has limited time to reform itself and take charge of security.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday that the announcement was a signal to President Hamid Karzai that he and his government must "change their behavior and take charge" of their security.

Obama set the date as part of his announcement that he was sending 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, ending three-months of deliberations on how to move forward in Afghanistan, where America has been at war for 8 years.