Obama may bring home 10k troops

Obama may bring home 10k troops

The president is likely to pull out 10,000 troops by the end of this year, administration and Pentagon officials said, and aim to bring another 20,000 home by the end of next year. The initial withdrawal is expected to happen in two phases, with 5,000 troops coming home this summer and an additional 5,000 by the end of the year, a senior US defence official said.

The pace of bringing home the other 20,000 forces was unclear heading into Obama’s primetime address to the nation on Thursday. The president was expected to detail his withdrawal plan in a 10 to 15 minute speech from the White House.

Obama’s expected blueprint focuses on the 30,000 surge forces he ordered to Afghanistan as part of his 2009 decision to send reinforcements to reverse the Taliban’s battlefield momentum. But with 100,000 US troops currently in Afghanistan, the drawdown may not be substantial enough to satisfy some lawmakers on Capitol Hill and a war-weary public.

The president reached his decision a week after receiving a range of options from Gen. David Petraeus, the top US and Nato commander in Afghanistan. Obama informed his senior national security advisers of his plans during a White House meeting Tuesday.

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