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Obama agenda: Petraues, Mullen back Obama

Good soldiers? “The nation’s top military officer and its top diplomat made clear yesterday that President Obama rejected the advice of his generals in choosing a quicker path to winding down the war in Afghanistan,” the AP reports.

The Washington Post: “U.S. military leaders said Thursday that President Obama’s decision to remove forces from Afghanistan in the middle of a fighting season poses some risk to recent battlefield gains but publicly supported his plan to bring home 33,000 troops by the end of next summer. Neither his civilian advisers nor his military commanders won all that they had sought in Obama’s withdrawal decision, which will bring home 10,000 troops this year and another 23,000 by September 2012. But Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander in Afghanistan, said in testimony on Capitol Hill that they believed the president had heard their proposals and set a policy they can carry out.”

The New York Times adds, “Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Afghanistan, said Thursday that President Obama’s new schedule for drawing down forces there was “more aggressive” than he had recommended and increased the risk that the military would not meet all its goals. But General Petraeus, pressed for his personal views at a Senate hearing on his nomination as director of central intelligence, said the president had to consider many factors beyond the battlefield and that he fully accepted Mr. Obama’s plan. It would bring home 33,000 troops by September 2012 and withdraw the remaining 68,000 by the end of 2014."

Politico writes up Obama's appearance at the LGBT fundraiser in NYC: "President Barack Obama called for equal rights for gay couples Thursday, but stopped short of voicing support for legalizing same-sex marriage at a gala LGBT fundraiser held in the heart of a state whose legislature is on the verge of taking a vote on the issue. The president couched the notion of rights for the nation’s gay community in the framework of civil rights, casting his own election as part of an evolutionary process in the nation over the last two-and-a-half years, one that also involved economic woes and overseas wars."

First Lady Michelle Obama did pushups with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa.