On Afghanistan, Biden described a policy of total and unconditional retreat that the Obama administration does not actually hold. “We are leaving in 2014, period,” said Biden. Responsible representatives of the administration put it a little differently: U.S. combat forces are leaving in 2014, but considerable special operations and training forces will remain to help prevent the Taliban from reestablishing a terrorocracy. Biden, in fact, was representing his own position in an internal White House debate — the abject-surrender option — rather than the administration’s stated view. During the debate, the other leader who must have been giggling was the Taliban’s Mohammad Omar.
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