Obama to announce 34,000 troops pullout from Afghanistan
By Ghanizada - Tue Feb 12 2013, 8:30 pm
President Obama will announce at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address that 34,000 troops – more than half of those currently serving in the combat region – will be back from Afghanistan a year from tonight, according to a source familiar with the speech.
Currently there are 66,000 US troops based in Afghanistan and the move would half US troops level as United States is due to end nd combat operations in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but it is unclear how large a residual training force will remain behind.
Obama will also say that reductions will continue through the end of 2014 as Afghans take responsibility for their own security.
This comes as the US president and his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, agreed in January to speed the handover of combat operations to Afghan forces.
The military has proposed keeping several thousand troops in the country after 2014 as advisers, trainers and logistical support for Afghan forces bowever the White House has earlier said it remains open to pulling out all troops entirely.
president does not plan to provide numbers for any kind of residual force after 2014, a topic that remains subject to negotiations with Afghanistan.
Obama has often said he plans to bring the Afghanistan war to a close by the end of 2014.