Vice President Joe Biden managed to simultaneously boast about the administration’s progress regarding Afghanistan and then in the very same breath concede that there were some significant setbacks regarding that.
After saying the administration would definitely pull out of the country by 2014, he added:
And, in fact, in the meantime, what we said we would do, we would help train the Afghan military. It’s their responsibility to take over their own security. That’s why with 49 of our allies in Afghanistan, we’ve agreed on a gradual drawdown so we’re out of there by the year 20 — in the year 2014.
My friend and the governor say it’s based on conditions, which means it depends. It does not depend for us. It is the responsibility of the Afghans to take care of their own security. We have trained over 315,000, mostly without incident. There have been more than two dozen cases of green-on-blue where Americans have been killed. If we do not — if the measures the military has taken do not take hold, we will not go on joint patrols. We will not train in the field. We’ll only train in the — in the Army bases that exist there.
Those “more than two dozen cases” translates to a death toll above 50, as CNN reported:
More than 50 coalition troops have been killed in so-called “green-on-blue” attacks in Afghanistan in the first eight and a half months of 2012. Four Americans and two British troops were gunned down over the weekend in attacks believed to involve Afghan police.
In addition, insurgents disguised in U.S. Army uniforms carried out a coordinated assault Friday at a joint American-British base in the same region, raising concerns that the attackers had inside knowledge. That attack destroyed six AV-8B Harrier jets and left two others damaged, international forces said.
That would seem to run counter to Biden’s “without incident” characterization.