- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
- Hillary: ‘Dead broke’ comment was ‘inartful,’ but insists it was ‘accurate’
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
Obama set to take 34,000 troops out of Afghanistan
Question of the Day
The U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan has shifted into a higher gear, with nearly half the troops set to leave over the next year.
President Obama plans to announce in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night that 34,000 troops will leave Afghanistan in the next 12 months as the U.S. prepares to end combat operations there by the end of 2014, according to a senior administration official.
Mr. Obama is still negotiating with Afghan officials about how large a residual U.S. force will remain and during the speech will give more specifics about U.S. involvement in the country after 2014, although there are no plans to make any further announcements about troop numbers Tuesday night, the administration official said.
Mr. Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed in January to accelerate the handover of combat operations to Afghan forces, which are now 352,000 strong and leading 90 percent of operations across the country. By the spring, they will take over the lead in all operations, with the United States and other countries who have trained them stepping back to take an advisory role.
“In that capacity, we will no longer be leading operations through the crucial fighting seasons of 2013 and 2014,” the official said. “By the end of 2014, we will responsibly bring our war in Afghanistan to a close.”
Before the White House released plans to withdraw 34,000 troops over the next year, Mr. Obama spoke on the phone with Mr. Karzai, British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Previously, the White House has suggested keeping up to 9,000 troops in Afghanistan after the combat mission ends there, but administration officials said they would continue negotiating with Afghan officials and could wind up leaving no troops in the country.
“The United States remains fully committed to a long-term strategic partnership with the Afghan government and the Afghan people,” the official said. “We remain in negotiations on a Bilateral Security Agreement with the Afghan government that would contemplate two marrow missions for the United States beyond 2014: targeting the remnants of al Qaeda and training Afghan Security Forces.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius' 'Obamacare' fundraising
- Teaming up with Christie, Obama says Jersey shore 'back in business'
- No Moore: Obama flubs name of Oklahoma city devastated by tornado, calls it 'Monroe'
- Obama to Okla. tornado victims: 'We have got your back'
- Aide involved in Benghazi talking points scrubbing promoted by Obama
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- California's Jerry Brown cites God, 'religious call' to embrace illegals
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Appeals court upholds Obamacare tax as constitutional
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world