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
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)
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(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.

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