U.S. plans initial Afghan force reduction of 5,000 in July.

U.S. soldiers are heading into what may be a pivotal…

U.S. soldiers are heading into what may be a pivotal Afghan fighting season that determines the scale of an initial U.S. troop withdrawal, now pegged at 5,000 in July, senior U.S. officials say.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that preliminary proposals call for a 5,000-troop drawdown in July and as many as 5,000 more by the end of the year. The proposal was drawn up before the Pakistan raid that killed Osama bin Laden and has not formally been presented to Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The proposal would not involve U.S. combat troops but would draw down “at the edges” and be spread across the entire U.S. force in Afghanistan, NBC News reported. No complete units or brigades would be withdrawn.

Source: NBC News and news services.

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