US Will Begin Withdrawing Troops in July 2011
President will discuss Afghan timetable in speech tonight
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2009 3:09 PM CST
In this Oct. 21 file photo, President Obama speaks at Metropolitan Archives facility, in Landover, Md.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

(Newser) – President Obama plans to begin withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan in July 2011, senior administration officials say. Obama will sketch out the timetable tonight when he announces plans to send an additional 30,000 troops to the country over the next 6 months, report the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Obama will try to make clear to Americans that the troop surge will be accompanied by a clear exit strategy. The administration's thinking is that by accelerating the arrival of US troops—a total of 100,000 will be on the ground in May—it will help the Afghan government and army get up to speed more quickly.