Obama: 33,000 surge troops to leave Afghanistan

(AP) - Hailing the beginning of the end of adevastating war, President Barack Obama announced Wednesday nighthe was pulling home 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by

WASHINGTON - (AP) - Hailing the beginning of the end of adevastating war, President Barack Obama announced Wednesday nighthe was pulling home 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by next summer,withdrawing the "surge" of forces he sent in to rescue a flailingeffort. Said Obama to a country eager for an exit: "The tide ofwar is receding."

A total of 10,000 troops will leave the war zone by the end ofthis year - fulfilling Obama's promise - and more than 20,000additional forces will leave by the summer of 2012, shortly beforethe president will go before voters in search of a second term.

Still, almost 70,000 U.S. troops will remain in an unstablecountry, fighting in a war bound to see more Americans killed.Obama said they will leave at a steady pace, but the U.S. combatmission is not expected to end until December 2014 - and even then,a sizable and enduring contingent may remain in a different role.

Obama's announcement from the White House came in a perilouspolitical environment, with Americans soured on the war and theeconomy, many members of Congress pushing him to get troops homeeven faster, and his Republican presidential rivals taking shots athis leadership at every chance. Conceding the economic strain ofwaging war at a time of rising debt and fiscal constraint, Obamasaid it was time for America "to focus on nation building here athome."

The withdrawal is supported by the bold bottom-line claims ofhis security team: Afghanistan, training ground for the Sept. 11,2001, attacks on America, is no longer a launching pad forexporting terrorism and hasn't been for years. Yet the White Houseinsists the U.S. must maintain a strong fighting force inAfghanistan for now to keep the country from slipping back into ahaven for al-Qaida terrorists.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

Authorities say Sophia Hernandez was abducted from a 1 Amber Alert issued by Bridgeport police for 6-year-old girl
Crews worked Thursday to recover the wreckage of 2 Crews recover East Haven plane wreckage; victims identified
3 Connecticut Sportscast, Feb. 23
Nassau Police are investigating a multi-vehicle accident that 4 Police: 1 person killed in multi-vehicle LIE accident
Weather Kids: Stanwich School 5 Weather Kids: Stanwich School

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Focus on Connecticut Focus on Connecticut

Features local, state and federal officials discussing the issues around southwestern Connecticut.

Celebrates African-American culture in southwestern Connecticut. Our Lives

Celebrates African-American culture in southwestern Connecticut.

Each week News 12 Connecticut introduces you to Hometown Hero

News 12 highlights people who give to the community.

We spotlight a local team each week. Connecticut Team of the Week

Each week News 12 Connecticut highlights a team from a local school.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE