June 21st, 2011
01:44 PM ET

10,000 US troops out of Afghanistan by year-end – source

A congressional source told CNN Tuesday that members are being told this afternoon that President Obama’s Afghanistan drawdown calls for 10,000 troops to be withdrawn by the end of this year and another 20,000 troops by the end of 2012.

During the briefings, the source says, it’s being acknowledged that Defense Secretary Gates, Afghan war commander Gen. David Petraeus and Joint Forces commander Gen. Ray Odierno had pushed for an initial drawdown of between 3,000 and 5,000 troops this year— and that they should be support troops only—not combat troops. But the source says the White House has decided to take a more aggressive stance.

Some members of Congress, the source says, are concerned about withdrawing equipment for the 10,000 troops this summer and fall—in the middle of fighting season. The source says they are asking: "Why not wait until the snow starts falling?'

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