Is the POTUS finally going to bring our loved ones home from the “war”???
President Barack Obama is expected to announce this week that 30,000 U.S. “surge” forces will be fully withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, an administration official told CNN.
Members of Congress are being informed that the 10,000 troops will be withdrawn by the end of this year, followed by another 20,000 next year, a congressional source said.
Obama will deliver a highly anticipated speech on the troop drawdown at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday.
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.
Gates — along with Afghan war commander Gen. David Petraeus — had pushed for an initial drawdown of between 3,000 and 5,000 troops this year, the congressional source said. The secretary also urged the president to withdraw support troops only — not combat troops.
Despite his dissenting opionion Gates recognizes that President Obama has to consider the feelings of the American people in addition to send ing a message to the Afghan government.
“Sustainability here at home” is an important consideration, Gates said, noting that people are “tired of a decade of war.”
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, repeated his call Tuesday for a withdrawal of 15,000 troops this year.
“The level of U.S. troop reductions in Afghanistan needs to be significant to achieve its purpose — letting the Afghan government know we are determined to shift primary responsibility for their security to the Afghan security forces,” Levin said in a written statement.
It’s been long enough Barry O, let’s get this thing done and get our troops back safe and sound!