Obama to Announce Withdrawal of 34K Troops

Accelerated drawdown to feature in State of the Union address

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 12, 2013 9:30 AM CST

(Newser) – President Obama intends to pull about half of the US' remaining troops in Afghanistan out of the country within a year, and will announce the move at tonight's State of the Union address, two sources familiar with the address tell the AP. Obama agreed to accelerate the US exit during a day-long meeting with Hamid Karzai last month, the sources said.

The exact size of the US' post-war presence in the country is still being finalized; Obama is open to leaving no troops in the country, but a small contingent remains the more likely option. Some security analysts worry that an abrupt drawdown will leave the country at risk of collapse, or even a new Taliban takeover, but polls show the war-weary public widely supports it.

In this July 7, 2012, file photo, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, greets troops before departing Kabul International Airport.
In this July 7, 2012, file photo, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, greets troops before departing Kabul International Airport.   (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, File, Pool)
In this Jan. 16, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, talks about proposals to reduce gun violence at the White House.
In this Jan. 16, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, talks about proposals to reduce gun violence at the White House.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
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