Health care ruling: Federal appeals panel strikes down mandatory insurance

President Barack Obama signs the health care overhaul bill on March 23, 2010, at the White House. A federal appeals court panel struck down the requirement in the law that virtually all Americans must carry health care insurance or face penalties.

WASHINGTON — The new U.S. commander in Afghanistan says the goal of starting an American pullback by July 2011 will depend on conditions at the time.

In an interview taped for NBC’s “Meet the Press” this weekend, Gen. David Petraeus hedged a bit when asked by interviewer David Gregory if the summer deadline next year was non-negotiable.

In the interview, Petraeus says President Barack Obama has “expressed very clearly that what he wants from me is my best military advice.” The general, who succeeded the ousted Gen. Stanley McChrystal, said that if sufficient progress has not been made by that date, “I would communicate that to him. ... That’s real life.”

Petraeus conceded the U.S. mission in the war-weary South Asian nation is tough, and will remain so.