Obama and Petraeus discuss Afghan pullout
WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama has met with Afghanistan war commander General David Petraeus to discuss a troop withdrawal set to begin next month, the White House said Thursday.
Presidential spokesman Jay Carney said the two met in Washington on Wednesday to “discuss Afghanistan (and) to review the broad array of issues surrounding the drawdown that will begin… next month.”
Carney said the two “discussed a range of options” for the troop drawdown, but declined to provide more details on the withdrawal or say when Obama would make a formal announcement about the pullout timetable.
In December 2009 Obama announced he would send another 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan, bringing the total deployed to 100,000, but would begin withdrawing forces in July 2011.
The White House has yet to say how many troops it will be pulling out or when, insisting such decisions will be based on conditions on the ground, where troops have been battling the Taliban for nearly a decade.
US support for the war — launched in the wake of the September 11 attacks in a bid to destroy Al-Qaeda — has waned in recent months, especially following the killing of the group’s leader, Osama bin Laden, in May.