Graham: Get deadline off Petraeus' back

Senate Armed Services Committee member Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday that the White House needed to clarify its July 2011 Afghanistan withdrawal deadline in order for Gen. David Petraeus to get the job there done.

"When it comes to deadlines, we need to take that off his back," Graham said on "Fox News Sunday," adding that if the Obama administration was intent on withdrawing troops by that date no matter what, "if that's the policy it will doom this operation."



Graham reiterated the call that he made with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) at a Wednesday press conference: to shake up the civilian team on the ground while moving in a new general.


"This is a chance to start over completely," Graham said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, said she believed that Petraeus has "flexibility, realistically" on a deadline and will have input in the civilian component in Afghanistan.

"If the team isn't right I think Gen. Petraeus' views should be taken into consideration," she said.

"I think we put all of our eggs in the Petraeus basket at this stage," Feinstein added.