July 2011 Deadline Might Bring Home Just 'A Few Thousand' Troops

How many troops will come home from America’s longest war when we reach that July 2011 deadline for a “transition?” In an EXCLUSIVE interview with This Week anchor Jake Tapper, Vice President Biden said “It could be as few as a couple thousand troops.”

Tapper asked the Vice President about his remarks that appeared in Jonathan Alter’s new book, The Promise. “In July of 2011 you’re going to see a whole lot of people moving out. Bet on it,” the Vice President told Alter.

Biden clarified: “If you read three or four paragraphs above that, Jonathan was making a very valid point. He was saying a lot in the military think they outmaneuvered the president to render the July date meaningless. And I was saying that's simply not true.”

“The military signed on. Petraeus signed on. Everybody signed onto not a deadline, but a transition, a beginning of a transition,” Biden said.

Tapper pressed him – but what did he mean when he said “a whole lot of people” would be “moving out” of Afghanistan?

“What I was responding to was the idea that the president had been outmaneuvered. I was saying make it clear. And so it -- it wasn’t so much numbers I meant. It could be as few as a couple thousand troops. It could be more. But there will be a transition,” Biden said.


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