In the first time in nearly a decade, antiwar Democrats and moderates are uniting on war policy, this time by putting pressure on President Obama to come up with a concert plan for Afghanistan. While significant policy-wise, the unity could also have strong repercussions in the 2012 elections—when President Obama and many Democrats face reelection. All but eight Democrats last week voted for an amendment that demanded that Obama speed up the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and pursue a diplomatic approach with “all interested parties”—including the Taliban. The same amendment last year failed, with 98 percent of Democrats voting against it. Given the absence of any fixed withdrawal target, the White House dismissed last week’s amendment as a non-factor for the president, who has given July 1 as the day to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
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