Drawing Down

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 2:49pm

President Obama announces plan to reduce U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.

President Obama is set to make a major announcement on just how quickly the U.S. will begin pulling troops out of Afghanistan.

With Osama Bin Laden dead, calls have been increasing to accelerate the withdrawal of U.S. forces, but some fear removing too many troops could give Al Qaeda and the Taliban free reign.

The president has promised to start pulling out troops from last years surge by next month.

The White House says he's made his decision on how to do that and will announce it during a prime time address Wednesday.

Senior officials say the decision will likely be to withdraw some 5,000 troops beginning in July, followed by a second wave of several thousand more by year's end.

While a group of 27 Democrat and Republican Senators sent the president a letter last week urging a shift in Afghanistan, others worry about pulling out too quickly and reversing gains made against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

"If they are support troops, I think that that is somewhat acceptable. If they come out of the 30,000 surge, then I think that's a matter of concern," says Senator John McCain.

A total of 100,000 U.S. troops are currently in Afghanistan.

The U.S. is set to spend $113 billion on operations there this year.
 

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