During the campaign summer of 2008, candidate Obama said of Afghanistan, "This is a war that we have to win." Yet now, although progress is being made the job is still very much unfinished, we find Obama as president extracting our resources from Afghanistan.

Gen. David Petraeus, placed in charge of the Afghan mission by President Obama, opposes this troop reduction, as does outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is described as having "reluctantly accepted it."

The timetable Mr. Obama established a year and a half ago for a summer 2011 pullout, with no recommendation from any of our military leaders, never should have been set. In a football game would you tell the opponent in the second quarter that you plan to send in your third string to play the fourth quarter?

When the Taliban come swarming across the border from Pakistan and either take over or become a big part of the Afghan government, what do you tell the families of the 1,500 Americans who are going to ask "What did our loved ones die for?" What answer will our commander in chief have for them?

When the Taliban once again make Afghanistan a haven for al-Qaida or other terrorist groups plotting to murder Americans within our homeland, how will Mr. Obama convince anyone that his Afghan policy was a victory strategy?

Benedict Frederick Jr., Pasadena