Obama: All combat troops home from Afghanistan by 2014 - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

  • President Obama announced last night he would withdraw 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by July 2012. Do you think this is the right move?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Yes, it’s time we let the Afghan government take over.
    51%
    136 votes
    No, removing the troops puts the US at risk of a terrorist strike.
    11%
    29 votes
    No, it’s time we pulled out of the Middle East altogether and focus on the US.
    38%
    102 votes

Obama: All combat troops home from Afghanistan by 2014

Posted: Updated:
President Barack Obama said more than 10,000 troops will be back on U.S. soil by the end of 2011. (Source: RNN) President Barack Obama said more than 10,000 troops will be back on U.S. soil by the end of 2011. (Source: RNN)
  • InternationalMore>>

  • Official: 13 killed as shells hit Gaza UN school

    Official: 13 killed as shells hit Gaza UN school

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:55 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:55:48 GMT
    A Palestinian health official says 13 people were killed after tank shells hit a U.N. school in Gaza where hundreds of Palestinians had taken refuge from Israeli attacks.More >>
    A Palestinian health official says 13 people were killed after tank shells hit a U.N. school in Gaza where hundreds of Palestinians had taken refuge from Israeli attacks.More >>
  • China: Ex-security czar Zhou under investigation

    China: Ex-security czar Zhou under investigation

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:34 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:34:09 GMT
    China's Communist Party says it has launched an investigation into a former domestic security chief who was once among the country's most feared leaders.More >>
    China's ruling Communist Party announced an investigation into a feared ex-security chief, demonstrating President Xi Jinping's firm grip on power and breaking a longstanding taboo against publicly targeting the...More >>
  • China reports deadly attack in northwest

    China reports deadly attack in northwest

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:37 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:37:14 GMT
    A mob armed with knives rampaged through part of China's volatile northwestern region of Xinjiang and police responded with gunfire, leaving dozens of people dead in the latest violence blamed on Islamic...More >>
    A mob armed with knives and axes rampaged through part of China's volatile northwestern region of Xinjiang and police responded with gunfire, leaving dozens of people dead in the latest violence blamed Islamic...More >>

WASHINGTON (RNN) - The first of 33,000 U.S. troops will begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in July as the United States begins the task of turning over security and withdrawing from a nearly 10-year war, President Barack Obama announced Wednesday.

Obama promised the first 10,000 troops will be home by the end of the year, and another 23,000 troops will be back on U.S. soil by July 2012.

"After this initial reduction, our troops will continue coming home at a steady pace as Afghan security forces move into the lead," Obama said. "Our mission will change from combat to support."

The move reverses a surge of 30,000 troops the president ordered to Afghanistan in December 2009.  

"This is the beginning, not the end of our effort to wind down this war," Obama said. "We'll have to do the hard work of keeping the gains that we've made while we draw down our forces and transition responsibility to the Afghan government."

Under the president's plan, the security handoff will be complete and all combat troops back home by 2014.

"We will not try to make Afghanistan a perfect place. We will not police its streets or patrol its mountains indefinitely. That is the responsibility of the Afghan government, which must step up its ability to protect its people and move from an economy shaped by war to one that can sustain a lasting peace," Obama said.

The president says the U.S. is starting the drawdown from a "position of strength" in part due to the killing of more than half of al-Qaeda's leadership, including the recent death of Osama bin Laden.

He says information gleaned from the terror leader's compound shows that bin Laden expressed concern that al-Qaeda had been ineffective in replacing senior level terrorists that were killed and that they had also failed to portray America "as a nation at war with Islam, thereby draining more widespread support."

Across Washington, the plan received mixed reaction.

Department of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who is retiring at the end of the month, says the decision "provides our commanders with enough resources, time and perhaps most importantly, flexibility to bring the surge to a successful conclusion."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, said the withdrawal is not quick enough.

"It has been the hope of many in Congress, and across the country, that the full drawdown would happen sooner than was laid out - we'll continue to press for a better outcome," she posted on her Facebook page. "Gratitude to our men and women in uniform and their families, who have done everything asked of them with courage."

On the other side of the aisle, Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, said Obama deserves a lot of credit for recent progress in Afghanistan, but the progress remains fragile and could be compromised by a substantial drawdown.

"I am concerned that the withdrawal plan that President Obama announced tonight poses an unnecessary risk to the hard-won gains that our troops have made thus far in Afghanistan and to the decisive progress that must still be made.  This is not the ‘modest' withdrawal that I and others had hoped for and advocated," he said in a statement.

Copyright 2011 Raycom News Network. All right reserved.

Powered by WorldNow