Obama to announce Afghanistan troop reduction by 30,000 by 2012 end
President Barack Obama will hold an evening address Wednesday to lay out his plans for reducing the number of US troops in Afghanistan, the White House said, dpa reported.
Media reports citing unnamed officials on Tuesday said Obama would reduce the troops by 10,000 by the end of the year, and by 30,000 by the end of next year, effectively ending the surge of troops he instituted earlier in his presidency. Some 100,000 troops are currently in Afghanistan.
White House spokesman Jay Carney dismissed those reports as "speculation," but declined to provide details of the president's plans or how the decision was reached.
"This is the president's decision to announce," he said.
In December 2009, Obama announced the buildup of US forces to combat rising violence in Afghanistan by adding some 30,000 troops.
Carney said Wednesday's announcement would be consistent with the existing plan to begin the transition of security responsibility to the Afghan government and begin the possible withdrawal of US forces in July.