But nevertheless, any effort you make to establish security and to build internal security in Afghanistan and unify that country is nation-building because of the state of Afghanistan. It has always been a very divided collection of thousands of tribes and -- and various homelands. And General Petraeus is trying valiantly to organize all of that.
But that's nation-building; I agree with George. The problem for Obama is his own base remembers that this was the good war we weren't supposed to get bogged down in. And he has become more ambitious in his goals.
TAPPER: And, Dee Dee, if in July 2011 it turns out only 2,000 troops leave Afghanistan, I can't imagine that liberals and progressives are going to be happy about that.
MYERS: Right. I mean, last summer and fall, the president went through an extensive process of thinking through exactly what our strategy in Afghanistan was going to be. He spent hours and hours and hours on it. He came out pretty close to where General Petraeus and the military wanted, which was sending 30,000 additional troops.
And he sold that to Congress by pairing it with a deadline, which now -- I thought it was interesting to hear Vice President Biden talk about that not as much as a deadline but as the beginning of a transition.
But when the -- the time comes -- and in the discussion leading up to that, if the administration continues to try to finesse that, which they've been doing, I think you're going to see increasingly angry liberals. We've already seen it.
People, again, signed onto this plan on the notion that it would be a specific period of time and not a long period of time, that we wouldn't be there for 10 years or 20 years nation-building. And increasingly, I think the language is getting -- is leaving a lot of wiggle room. Things on the ground have not gone as well as we had hoped a year ago.
TAPPER: George, something else the vice president said that I -- you and I talked about. You disagree with his assertion that the Wall Street reform bill that the president will sign this Wednesday will end uncertainty among big business.
WILL: The president -- the vice president was really responding to your point about all this mountain of cash that businesses have that they're not spending, because to invest is to make a wager on the future and they're uncertain about the future.
The vice president referred to the financial reform bill as another of our gigantic packages, another 2,300-page piece of legislation. I don't know if, as someone said, there are three unintended consequences on every page, but there are enormous rule-makings yet to come, with bureaucracies yet to be invented. It's bound to spread uncertainty, and it's bound to have essentially what we had in the 1930s when the New Deal came to a grinding halt. Capital went on strike, paralyzed by uncertainty.
PAGE: However, there is the public out there saying, what's government going to do to protect us? We did just go through a financial collapse. Some kind of -- and this came after, really, several decades of fewer and fewer regulations, less and less oversight.
We need some kind of oversight. How many pages would you like, George, 2,300 too many? How about 100 pages? I mean, you've got to have some detail here. And the regulations haven't even been written yet, the various rules and regulations for the day-to-day operation of all this.