Gen. David Petraeus, in an interview with The New York Times, says he didn’t go to Afghanistan to preside over a “graceful exit” from the war there. Petreaus is campaigning to win over Americans who are quickly growing skeptical of the U.S.’s ability to win in Afghanistan. The general said the war plan had been tweaked and fine-tuned only in the last few weeks, and that the U.S. shouldn’t rapidly withdraw at the start of President Obama’s deadline to pull troops out in July 2011. At that date, “For the first time,” Petraeus said, “we will have what we have been working to put in place for the last year and a half.” Petraeus also said on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that he might call for the drawdown to be delayed. The statements are the beginning of what could be a huge political fight over the war, as some Democrats in Congress are already pushing to withdraw soon. Obama offered the withdrawal deadline to placate the war’s critics, but recent campaigns to retake land from the Taliban haven’t gone as well as military planners had hoped, spurring them to consider asking the White House to delay or limit the pullout.