Timetables: We're all obsessed right now with timetables.

Now, a timetable to get out of Iraq.

Sometimes time tables are born of inspiration, like JFK aiming to land a man on the Moon before the decade of the '60s was out.

Others are less grandiose… a timetable a board imposes on a CEO to turn things around or else.

One thing I've noticed is timetables are getting shorter — maybe because our attention spans are, as is our stomach for hardship.

It's not like we're saying when things get hot, we immediately get out of the kitchen. We just set a timetable to get out of the kitchen. Again, because it's hot — and in Iraq, very hot.

You know, there was a time we didn't impose deadlines when things got hot. We just got to it. When the job was done, it was done.

Imagine if a frustrated and impatient nation had demanded a timetable for Abraham Lincoln to pull out of what early on looked like a reckless Civil War?

Or after the Japanese were banging us up pretty good in the Pacific at the start of World War II, we panicked and put a deadline on ending World War II?

I don't know, but this much I do know: Timelines and deadlines can work if they focus everyone on a prize. Including the very folks for whom we're not intentionally offering one: our enemies.

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Neil Cavuto serves as senior vice president, anchor and managing editor for both FOX News Channel (FNC) and FOX Business Network (FBN). He is anchor of FNC's Your World with Cavuto - the number one rated cable news program for the 4 p.m. timeslot - as well as the FNC Saturday show Cavuto on Business. He also hosts Cavuto on FBN weeknights at 8 p.m. In addition to anchoring daily programs and breaking news specials on FNC and FBN, Cavuto oversees business news content for both networks and FNC's weekend business shows, including Bulls & Bears, Forbes on Fox, and Cashin' In. Click here for more on Neil Cavuto.