President Barack Obama is expected to announce on Wednesday his plan to withdraw by the end of 2012 the 33,000 additional surge troops sent to Afghanistan, with at least 5,000 personnel – a brigade – to exit by the close of this year, administration officials told POLITICO.
Obama has yet to determine the precise pace of the drawdown that he will outline during an 8 p.m. ET address to the nation from the White House, people familiar with the situation said.
Following the withdrawal of the brigade in 2011, the president also is considering removing an additional 5,000 troops from Afghanistan by next spring, the sources said.
Whatever the pace, all 33,000 forces that were part of the surge would be gone by the end of 2012, sources told POLITICO.