Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Half of troops in Afghanistan home in 1 year

Feb. 12, 2013 - 10:44AM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 12, 2013 - 10:44AM  |  
Pakistani driver assistants chat Feb. 11 while sitting on a truck carrying NATO Humvees at a terminal on the Pakistani-Afghan border in Chaman, Pakistan. The U.S. has started using the land route through Pakistan to pull American military equipment out of Afghanistan. President Obama is expected to detail drawdown plans tonight in his State of the Union.
Pakistani driver assistants chat Feb. 11 while sitting on a truck carrying NATO Humvees at a terminal on the Pakistani-Afghan border in Chaman, Pakistan. The U.S. has started using the land route through Pakistan to pull American military equipment out of Afghanistan. President Obama is expected to detail drawdown plans tonight in his State of the Union. (Matiullah Achakzai / AP)
  • Filed Under

President Obama will announce tonight that 34,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan will return home by this time next year halving the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, senior administration officials confirm.

Obama will not make any further announcements on troop levels in Afghanistan in tonight's State of the Union Speech, a senior administration official said. It is unknown how many U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014 if any.

"Afghan forces are leading nearly 90 percent of operations across the country, and by this spring, they'll be assuming the lead across the entire country, with the United States and ISAF stepped back to a train, advise and assist role," the official said in an email. "By the end of 2014, we will responsibly bring our war in Afghanistan to a close."

The U.S. and Afghanistan are negotiating over the size of a residual force to remain in Afghanistan after most NATO troops depart. Similar negotiations with Iraq ended in failure in 2011, when the Iraqi government refused to extend immunity from Iraqi law to U.S. troops.

Between now and the end of 2014, the U.S. Air Force will play a central role in transporting troops and cargo out of Afghanistan.

Ground routes through neighboring Pakistan are dangerous and unreliable, and a system of railways and truck lines known as the Northern Distribution Network stretches thousands of miles from Central Asia through Russia and the Baltic republics a slow, tenuous and costly course.

In December, the Government Accountability Office estimated that 65 percent of equipment would leave Afghanistan by air and sea, but a spokeswoman for U.S. Transportation Command said the majority of cargo is slated to leave via Pakistan.

"Planning guidance is for 55 to 65 percent of U.S. military cargo to redeploy through Pakistan and then loaded onto ships for transport back to the point of origin or reset," Cynthia Bauer said in an email.

Pakistan closed its ground supply routes to NATO from November 2011 until July 2012 after the U.S. mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops in an airstrike.

Staff writer kdavis@militarytimes.com?subject=Question from ArmyTimes.com.com reader">Kristin Davis contributed to this report.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

This job will get you promoted
Army's new program elevates role of AIT platoon sgts.

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook