In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Obama will announce that by this time next year, 34,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan will have returned home, according to sources with knowledge of the president’s speech.
The move will reduce the number of U.S. forces in the country by more than half. There are now about 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
A Washington Post poll out Tuesday morning shows that 80% of registered voters support the president’s policy to end the war in Afghanistan.
In January, Obama met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Washington, where they agreed to accelerate the military transition in Afghanistan. Afghan forces will take the lead in combat missions throughout the country starting in spring, instead of midyear as was previously expected.
The White House has been considering a range of troop levels to remain in Afghanistan once the combat mission officially ends at the end of 2014, from as many as 15,000 troops to none at all.
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