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Pulling Troops from Afghanistan

By: Joel Brown Email
By: Joel Brown Email

June 22, 2011 -

President Obama will address the nation and reveal his plans for the war in Afghanistan.

Thousands of troops fighting in Afghanistan will start coming home as early as next month.

In a national address tonight President Obama is expected to announce the withdrawal of 5000 troops in the coming months and another 5000 by the winter or spring.

The troops are part of the 30,000 sent to Afghanistan during the surge last year. Bringing some home this summer was always part of the plan.

"The President identified in December 2009 that forces would begin to draw down in July of 2011 and he is keeping that commitment," says Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary.

Sources tell CBS News bringing home the rest of the surge troops could take between 9 and 18 months. The Pentagon wants a slow withdrawal - so the US doesn't lose ground. But with the war costing 2 billion dollars a week some Democrats want troops out quickly.

"I believe for us to rebuild America, Not Afghanistan," says Joe Manchin, a Democratic Senator in West Virginia.

In a recent poll most Americans said they're ready for the war to be over. And the United States' top diplomat in Afghanistan is showing his frustration with that country's leadership.

Over the weekend Karl Eikenberry, the US ambassador to Afghanistan responded to recent criticism of the US war effort -made by President Hamid Karzai and other Afghan leaders.

"When we hear ourselves being called occupiers and worse our pride is offended and we begin to lose our inspiration to carry on," says Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan.

U.S. officials say military operations will be scaled back over the next three years. The President wants the Afghans in charge of their own security by 2014.


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