Photo: Courtesy of U.S. Army
By mid-July President Obama will announce a plan to withdraw 30,000 service members from Afghanistan in the next 12 to 18 months, according to The Daily Beast.This plan is seen as a way to appease both sides. Large numbers of troops will come home, but they’ll be staying an extra year to help ease the transition.
Leslie Gelb reports:
Sorting out the formula is for chess players. The U.S. now deploys about 100,000 troops, in addition to about 40,000 NATO troops. NATO, including Washington, recently announced that it will remove all combat forces by January 2015 (i.e., three and a half years from now). The 30,000 U.S. troops to be withdrawn beginning this July constitute the full amount deployed in the so-called surge decision of late 2009. Their departure will still leave 70,000 U.S. armed personnel in country. All these numbers, to say nothing of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, make for intriguing manoeuvring in Washington. The exact number of forces to be reduced and the precise time frame for their withdrawal will be determined during the review that will get underway later this week.
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