As expected, President Barack Obama has shared his administration’s plans regarding U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, in an announcement given from the White House on Wednesday.
The Navy Times reports that the President announced that the administration will be bringing home the 33,000-strong surge troops who were sent to Afghanistan in 2009. It may be recalled that the President revealed his decision to send more than 30,000 troops to Afghanistan during an address at West Point; at that time, he also revealed that U.S. forces will start coming home in 2011.
President Obama announced on Wednesday that the surge troops will have gone home by next summer, starting with ten thousand troops who will be going home by end of 2011. The withdrawal, the President shared, will proceed at a steady pace, although the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan is expected to last until December 2014.
Despite the announcement, however, there are Democrats who felt that the President did not withdraw troops fast enough. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, for instance, shared: “I am glad this war is ending, but it’s ending at far too slow a pace,” while House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi of California, indicated that they “will continue to press for a better outcome.”
A report on The Washington Post, on the other hand, shared that Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, heaped praise on the President’s announcement. He said that the move will give Afghans the opportunity “make their own choices about their own future.”