Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Obama to Pull Surge Troops out of Afghanistan

President Obama is reportedly going to announce this week that he will withdraw the 30,000 troops that were sent in for a "surge" in Afghanistan last year. But the surge troops will not be fully withdrawn until the end of 2012. (Whut?) The drawdown will leave approximately 70,000 troops on the ground in Afghanistan.
The time-frame would give U.S. commanders another two "fighting" seasons with the bulk of U.S. forces still available for combat operations. Outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates has pushed for additional time to roll back Taliban gains in the country before starting any significant withdrawal -- a position at odds with a majority of Americans, according to recent public opinion surveys.

...The president is expected, in his remarks Wednesday, to stress the importance of preserving flexibility in force levels on the ground so commanders can adjust as conditions warrant, the official said.

The drawdown will be accomplished by troops returning home and not being replaced as well as canceling some proposed deployments.

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that Obama had yet to make a final decision on the size and scope of the troop withdrawal, but would do so "soon."
In good news, Obama can probably just recycle the speeches he gave last time he ran for president, when he was also promising to bring the troops home from Afghanistan.