Obama to Bring Home 30K Troops by Fall of 2012

That's faster than the military would like in Afghanistan
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2011 3:42 PM CDT
President Obama speaks to supporters at a campaign rally in Miami in this photo taken June 13, 2011.    (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

(Newser) – A few hours ahead of President Obama's prime-time address on Afghanistan, administration officials are leaking some main points to the AP, Washington Post, and the New York Times:

  • Obama will bring home 10,000 troops this year and another 20,000 or so by the end of next summer.
  • Those combined withdrawals will effectively mean the return home of all the "surge" troops Obama sent to Afghanistan in 2009. Another 70,000 US troops would remain in the country heading into 2013.

  • The timeline does not please Gen. David Petraeus, who wants the surge troops to remain through the end of 2012—long enough for another season of fighting. (The Times says Petraeus did not endorse the decision, though Robert Gates and Hillary Clinton did with reluctance.)
  • Though generals think it's too much, too fast, Obama will likely face criticism from the growing number of critics who say the US should bring home more troops even quicker.
  • The president gives his 10-minute address at 8pm ET.

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