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Barack Obama is expected to announce the approval of a plan that would result in the 30,000 U.S. "surge" forces being withdrawn completely from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, an administration official said.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

    End all five WARS! CNN why are you not reporting the secret war in Yemen?

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

      The first rule of secret wars is...

      June 21, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. AGeek

    woo. 30K. in 18 months. Pardon me while I'm underwhelmed.

    June 21, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. Wayne

    NO. The pullout should be many more than the 30,000 surge and should happen as PROMISED this July 2011, not 2012. Obama is an a$$.

    June 21, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • PreyTel

      "Promised" ??

      No – Wayne – if you go back and review what Obama said it was CONDITIONED on what he was to be told LATER by the military commanders in the field when the decision was pending.

      June 21, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. Client09

    wow 30,000 in a year............G, hes getting brave...............idiot

    June 21, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Frangible

      Yeah, Obama's using strategy, tactics, and taking into consideration information from military advisers. What an idiot. I mean, Rumsfeld never did any of those things, and look at how well he worked out.

      June 21, 2011 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. lefty avenger

    What a waste of life, this military mission is a waste like all the others. Killing millions of people just to get their oil. The Military Contractors and weapons manufacturers want war to go on forever so that they can make a profit off of human misery. President Obama does not deserve his noble peace prize and should give it back.

    June 21, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Frangible

      Afghanistan has oil? I see liberals are just as clueless about earth science as they are nuclear physics. Maybe you shouldn't have smoked so much weed during science class, bro.

      June 21, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. Harold Trainer, USAF RET

    The whole thing including Iraq needs to end now. We cannot afford to keep spending billions on wars that have no real purpose except political purpose. People are dying and we need the money at home. Debt is killing us and the wars cost 250 billion a year and have cost 3-4 trillion over the last ten years. We have been in Afghanistan for ten years and Iraq more than eight. What a waste.

    June 21, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • THINK

      Thanks for serving our country. My father was retired USAF and served his country proudly. After the first gulf war and watching the debt start to increase at an alarming rate, my father said something so out of character...."it's as if they want to bring on the end times". He said that 8 years ago and I've NEVER forgotten the words. You have to understand – my father NEVER said things like that.......

      June 21, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jason G.

    Obama has stuck to his words. We drew down our forces in Iraq and will do so in Afghanistan. No need to have troops in harms way when we can pick terrorists apart one by one.

    June 21, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay in NC

      70,000 troops will be left in harm's way.

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

    Great play politics with our troops HOPE you can CHANGE your poll numbers and win this election

    June 21, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. BOB


    June 21, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dave

    I "may" vote for him 2012 too... but probably wont.

    June 21, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  11. BOB


    June 21, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • jay

      No he wont. he will be re-elected in 2012. you really think one of these idiot republicans have a chance a beating him. All of them, from Sarah Palin to Mit Romney have no plans of their own. Republicans would keep the troops in the middle east for 100 years if they wanted to with no end in sight. a 10 year war is long enough.

      June 21, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bronco

    Funny how the "pullout" will happen just before the next presidental election!

    June 21, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. richard

    Stop blaming the president !!! I'm independent and to fix this mess requires time. This administration already received this "heritage"... Please, don't forget !!!

    June 21, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay in NC

      Barry did not inherit this war he asked for it he begged for it he wanted to be president. Go back, read his Nobel Prise Speech, he called it a 'just war.'

      June 21, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  14. Christina

    Sean, I agree! He is too busy to worry about our troops. I say bring them all home NOW !

    June 21, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jay in NC

    What about the other 70,000? When President Bush left office there were 32,000 now 100,000. Barry is a warmonger. He loves to kill.

    June 21, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Frangible

      Someone call the waaaaahbulance. Only anti-American emasculated girly-men whine about war. Would you like a tissue so you can wipe your tears away for Bin Laden getting owned by Seal Team Six?

      June 21, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • THINK

      Frangible – are you a shill paid by CNN to incite "fighting" among the people? You know...keep everyone divided so no one gets on the same page to actually get something done?

      June 21, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Frangible

      Oh yeah, CNN is paying me tons of cash for calling idiots on being idiots. If only that were a profession.

      And I find it highly amusing you think people whining on the internets would accomplish something IF ONLY THERE WAS NO DISAGREEMENT. Maybe you could go make a little protest on moveon org, get your crayon on and start scrawling some "witty" signs?

      June 21, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
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