America

Obama Due To Detail Pace, Size Of Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

With President Obama expected to announce on Wednesday some details about how fast and how soon the 30,000-or-so "surge" troops will be removed from Afghanistan, here are some of the things being reported about his plan:

— "There is a growing belief that the president must at least map out the initial withdrawal of the surge troops when he addresses the public. But whether those forces should come out over the next eight to 12 months or slowly trickle out over a longer time is hotly debated." (The Associated Press)

— According to an administration official, "Mr. Obama is considering options that range from a Pentagon-backed proposal to pull out only 5,000 troops this year to an aggressive plan to withdraw within 12 months all 30,000 troops the United States deployed to Afghanistan as part of the surge in December 2009." (The New York Times)

— "Although Obama has yet to make a final decision on how many troops to remove in July, administration officials say the number is likely to fall between 3,000 to 5,000, including some originally scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan but will instead stay home or be sent elsewhere." (The Washington Post)

— "President Obama plans to announce a troop reduction in Afghanistan that Pentagon and other administration officials say is expected to bring home about 10,000 personnel by the end of the year." (Los Angeles Times)

For the record, here's what White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Monday: "What I can say affirmatively because I know for a fact, having been in a room where this was discussed, the president has not yet even made a decision to announce. But that announcement will come soon."

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