The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, is apparently open to the idea of withdrawing of 30,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012.
Marc Ambinder is reporting that Petraeus has “formally” endorsed bringing out 5,000 troops now and another 5,000 next spring. But Congress is increasingly hostile to the war, and all kinds of military experts don’t really get what the U.S. is doing there at this point.
But mindful that the political environment in the U.S. and in Congress has turned sharply against the war, Petraeus is aware that the extra brigades he inherited cannot remain in place through 2014, when control of the country’s security is scheduled to be officially turned over to indigenous Afghan forces.
Ambinder says that instead, Petraeus would be will to support pulling 30,000 troops out by the end of 2012. He has the scoop on background and says it is according to “military and administration officials.”
This would still leave 70,000 troops in Afghanistan.