Report: Obama To Announce Withdrawal Of 34K Troops From Afghanistan

NPR | Feb. 12, 2013 7:04 a.m.

Contributed By:

Mark Memmott

Soldiers with Charlie Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, earlier in February.

Soldiers with Charlie Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, earlier in February.

Andrew Burton, Reuters /Landov

What will likely be a day-long drip of leaks about tonight’s State of the Union address begins with this:

“President Barack Obama will announce in his State of the Union address that 34,000 U.S. troops will be home from Afghanistan within a year, two people familiar with his remarks said Tuesday.” (From The Associated Press)

The wire service adds: “That’s about half the U.S. forces currently serving there, and marks the next phase in the administration’s plans to formally finish the war by the end of 2014.”

Meanwhile, The Washington Post writes that “the Pentagon is pushing a plan that would keep about 8,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan once the NATO military mission there ends in 2014 but significantly shrink the contingent over the following two years, according to senior U.S. government officials and military officers.”

The president’s address is set for 9 p.m. ET. Eyder will be live-blogging before, during and after. There will also be special coverage on NPR stations and streaming on NPR.org.

Over at It’s All Politics, our colleague Frank James looks at “four things to expect” in the address. Politico goes one step further: “5 things to watch for.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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