The President of the United States will be hitting the airwaves tonight, discussing the draw down of troops from Afghanistan. Starting this summer, thousands of troops will come home from the war-torn country.
Early talks say the first of the troops could be coming home as early as this July. Then, over the next 18 months, 30,000 out of the nearly 100,000 troops in Afghanistan will come back to the U.S. The goal is to have everyone home by 2014.
The ten-year war in Afghanistan could be coming to an end. President Barack Obama is expected to announce later tonight during a primetime address, he is planning a withdrawal of 10,000 troops by the end of this year.
"I think that with the death of bin laden and with most of the al Qaeda wiped out in Afghanistan and largely in Pakistan as well, I think we now have the opportunity to let the Afghans start taking over their country again," said Senator Rand Paul, (R) Kentucky.
That complete takeover is expected to happen by 2014. In the meantime, the President plans to announce the withdrawal of 10,000 troops this year and another 20,000 next year. Those 30,000 troops is the number sent to war during the surge last year.
"If it draws down people from the surge, that would be withdrawing people before our job is finished, particularly on the eastern side of Afghanistan," said Senator John McCain, (R) Arizona.
But many on Capitol Hill, and the American public, is growing weary of the war. The U.S. is spending $10 billion a month to fund the fighting while losing nearly 1,500 American lives.
"This is the longest war in the history of United States of America. We shouldn't be bashful or ashamed of bringing our troops home and fighting that global war on terror," said Representative Jason Chaffetz, (R) Utah.
Even with the draw down, some worry it's not coming fast enough.
"Basically, we have a status quo in place until after the election. We're kind of just kicking the can down the road," said Representative James McGovern, (D) Massachussetts.
This withdrawal comes at a time of changes in the President's closest advisors. There will be changes to the commanders in Afghanistan and the Director of the CIA. Neither of these changes are expected to change the timetable of withdrawl.
The President's address is scheduled for 8 p.m. tonight.
President set to announce troop withdrawal from Afghanistan
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