Tuesday, February 12, 2013
President Barack Obama is expected to announce in his State of the Union address tonight that 34,000 U.S. service members will be brought home from Afghanistan by this time next year.
That move would reduce the number of American troops in Afghanistan by half.
A senior administration official told several news outlets, including CBS News, that the withdrawal of U.S. service members would continue as Afghans shoulder more of the responsibility for their own security:
"Afghan forces continue to grow stronger, with 352,000 now in training or on duty. Afghan forces are leading nearly 90 percent of operations across the country, and by this spring, they'll be assuming the lead across the entire country, with the United States and ISAF stepped back to a train, advise and assist role."
When all is said and done, just how many U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan as a security force after 2014? According to Politico, White House and Defense Department officials are still debating that number.