Obama: 'Time to Focus on Nation-Building' at Home

33K 'surge' troops will be home by next summer
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2011 7:13 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama outlined his Afghanistan strategy in a prime-time address tonight, with no late surprises on the numbers: As expected, the US will bring home 10,000 troops by the end of 2011 and rest of the "surge" force (about 23,000 troops) by the end of next summer, reports MSNBC. That will leave 70,000 American troops in Afghanistan, and they will "continue coming home at a steady pace as Afghan security forces move into the lead," a process he said should be complete by 2014.

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"We are starting this drawdown from a position of strength," said the president, who cited the killing of Osama bin Laden. "Al-Qaeda is under more pressure than at any time since 9/11" and is on a "path to defeat." He also noted that the US has "spent a trillion dollars on war" over the last decade before adding what will surely be the takeaway line: "America, it is time to focus on nation-building here at home." The New York Times provides the full text of the speech here. (Read more President Obama stories.)

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