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Barack Obama is expected to announce the approval of a plan that would result in the 30,000 U.S. "surge" forces being withdrawn completely from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, an administration official said.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. Excellent

    It's a start.

    June 21, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. Byrd

    Bring them all home. Right now.

    June 21, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rudi

    2012 is coming and a lot of folks say “oh it’s the same as all the other false prediction”I don’t think so. You can feel and smell the fact that we as humans are on the verge of something that needs to change; you do not have to think “doomsday”, read more at TheDimensionMachine dot com

    June 21, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. jake

    Wow... and 70,000 will stay for how long, 20 more years?? Will we ever get a leader that is capable to end both wars and fix the economy??

    June 21, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • THINK

      What's scary and telling is that no one in charge seems to be interested in really fiixing the economy or bringing the troops home. I'd feel much safer if the 100,000 troops were here on OUR soil....

      June 21, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. Sean

    How convenient, right around election time...
    How about sticking to your campaign promise which you made back in 2008, saying that the first thing you would do in office was to pull out of Iraq?

    June 21, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • RKen

      If you actually paid attention, you'd know that in 2009 he announced plans for withdrawal that would start in July of 2011.

      But hey, who needs facts? Much more fun to be ignorant.

      June 21, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. Stacy

    What are "surge" forces?

    June 21, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. STFDoor


    June 21, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jeepdad

    Hmmmm, a draw-down just in time for the election...how utterly convenient.

    June 21, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ronald Hussein Reagan

    Obama is doing this in the sane methodical way he does everything – glad we got a grownup driving these days.

    June 21, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mokry Dmitry

    United States presidential election of 2012 is to be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 !!! 🙂 Just another lie during the presidential race !!!:)

    June 21, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • THINK

      That's the obvious answer...so don't go with it. Ask WHY?

      June 21, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. Rans

    I am one of those Filipinos will be repatriated if US Forces gone. i hope could find another job,

    June 21, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. Judge Dredd

    The law cannot be stopped, Afghanistan must be destroyed.

    I am the law

    June 21, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  13. mike

    Election time...

    June 21, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. richard

    Excelllent, step by step

    June 21, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  15. clarke

    No one is ever happy. We have to start somewhere, be it Christmas or the 4th of July.

    June 21, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
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