Here is a quote from one of the latest excellent pieces from The Onion - America's finest news resource etc. Slightly modified for the purposes of this blog and its focus on Afghanistan - be warned!
" "We've been at this a long time, and the truth is, this was never something we planned on doing forever. Lately, in fact, we've begun to wonder if we should move on sooner rather than later."
On numerous occasions speculation was deflected that their reign might be winding down, but these remarks Tuesday appeared to signal a shift. Now many worry that their retirement could create a void at the helm.
They have been gradually delegating key responsibilities to respected subordinates. In what seemed as an attempt to downplay concerns, reporters were told that "we are not going anywhere just yet" and that, in any case, "things were largely self-sustaining these days."
It was also emphasized that any potential retirement wouldn't mean a complete withdrawal from affairs, but would instead mark a transitional period during which they would step back a bit and take on a different role. "
Now go read what I modified. It will be telling, I think. I am not sure if the writers at The O had this in mind, but I can easily imagine they wanted to execute just this kind of "inception" in me.