U.S. 'surge' forces could leave Afghanistan by end of 2012, source says
About 30,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan could be coming home by the end of next year, an Obama administration official says.
June 21st, 2011
09:06 AM ET

U.S. 'surge' forces could leave Afghanistan by end of 2012, source says

[Updated at 9:06 a.m. ET] President Barack Obama is presently mulling how many troops to bring home this summer and how many to bring home late next year, a source says.

He is expected to discuss preserving flexibility in force levels on the ground so commanders can adjust as conditions warrant, an administration official said.

The drawdown will involve both bringing troops home without replacing them as well as canceling some proposed deployments.

Bringing the troops home by late 2012 would give U.S. forces another two fighting seasons before coming home, sources say.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans polled this month said they support the United States pulling some or all of its forces from Afghanistan, and the figure has jumped 10 points since May, likely as a result of Osama bin Laden's death, pollsters said.

[Posted at 8:47 a.m. ET] President Barack Obama is expected to announce the approval of a plan that would result in the 30,000 U.S. "surge" forces being withdrawn completely from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, an administration official said.

An estimated 100,000 U.S. troops are serving in Afghanistan, and about 30,000 of them were part of the 2009 surge, aimed at snuffing rising violence in the country.

Obama had previously said those troops would begin coming home in July and indicated the number would be "significant."

The president has expressed confidence that the U.S. can meet a self-imposed deadline to bring U.S. troops back from Afghanistan without compromising Afghan security. Military commanders and government officials, however, have raised concerns about the readiness of Afghan security forces.

The White House said Monday that Obama is scheduled to give a speech on the withdrawal on Wednesday.

Read CNN's full coverage of the Afghanistan troop withdrawal announcement
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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • Pentagon • World
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Philip

    @john...Saddam was convicted on 143 counts of murder, not millions as you say and as wee see dying in during this occupation of Iraq. Read "The Teicher affidavit'. Sworn testimony from the highest ranking official to ever come-clean about who armed the madman Saddam even after he had used weapons on his own citizens. Even Israel got-in on arming that idiot. What a mess.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. john

    Go back in your little hole Philip. Saddam ordered the killing of hundreds of thousands to millions of Kurds, we found the bodies moron.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    Sure, the chemical weapons were supplied by us to Saddam when he was our ally to be used against Iran, he used them against kurds too. That foto of our venerated defence Secy Rumsfeld bowing to him has perhaps now been destroyed. Propagandists and dissidents who wanted us to attack Saddam put the estimates from 50,000 to 100,000.

    There was none & there never will legitimacy to this crime of epic proportions committed against Americans & humanity – the Iraq invasion. That distracted us from going after AL Qaeda in Afghanistan, destroyed a country and split it wide open to violence and extremism for all time, a breeding ground for terrorism. What it did was to strengthen AlQaeda helping them to widen their base and augmented their recruitment policy.
    Thousands of American lives were lost, thousdands more were wounded & scarred for life. Trillion plus dollars of our national treasure were squandered. Tens of thousand of innocent civilians perished. Our credibility, prestige & clout in that region was seriously undermined and whole populations became hostile to US.
    Iran , China & Russia were the beneficiaries reinforcing their influence in the region.
    We'll continue reeling under the impact of that folly & what we undertook in Afghanistan for a long time to come.
    We havn't learned the lessons yet. We are already into the fourth month of our Libyan 'campaign'. With 11000 missions flown, 1473 of them strike and ground troops now being contemplated , to me its war.
    Operations in Yemen are still covert but that could change. Syria is next.
    Israeli lobby here -AIPAC & Tel Aviv have started pushing us towards a military confrontation with Iran before the year is out. A horrific scenarion to consider.
    So where is this nation headed? Go figure.

    June 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tipton Shelby

    There is a strong possibility that the end of the world might happen during Purim (this March). This information comes only from the Bible. There is a link between Judgment Day and the Feast of Purim, in the Book of Esther.

    The date for the end of the world cannot be based on someone's interpretation of an old stone monument. The source of Truth must be the Bible, God's Holy Word. For more information on The Link Between May 21, 2011 and the Feast of Purim in March 2012 please visit the site listed below.
    The Holy Bible, King James Version

    February 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
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