______________________________________________________________________________ The Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan describes the ongoing drawdown of U.S. Armed Forces in the Afghanistan war and the plans for its post 2014 presence when combat troops have left Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
2009 U.S. troops increase under the Obama Administration
Troop levels remained roughly constant under Barack Obama's predecessor, former president George W. Bush, with around 30,000 American troops deployed in Afghanistan. In January, about 3,000 U.S. soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division moved into the provinces of Logar and Wardak. The troops were the first wave of an expected surge of reinforcements originally ordered by George W. Bush and increased by Barack Obama. In mid-February Barack Obama ordered on 17 February 2009 17,000 extra US troops be sent to Afghanistan to bolster security in the country and thereby boosted the 36,000 US troops already there by 50%. Obama said with respect to the 2009 situation in Afghanistan. "Al Qaeda has not reemerged in Afghanistan in the same numbers as before 9/11, but they retain their safe-havens along the border. And our forces lack the full support they need to effectively train and partner with Afghan Security Forces and better secure the population."] On 1 December 2009, President Barack Obama therefore announced at The United States Military Academy in West Point that the U.S. will be sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and set July 2011 as the date to begin pulling U.S. forces out of the country
2010 London Conference on Afghanistan and 2010 Afghanistan War Review
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2 During the London Conference on Afghanistan Afghanistan announced on 28 January 2010 its intention of taking charge of the "majority of operations in the insecure areas of Afghanistan within three years and taking responsibility for physical security within five years". This combined with the increase of Afghan military strength to 171,600 and police numbers to 134,000 by October 2011 would enable the United States could begin to transition U.S. troops out of Afghanistan in July 2011 according to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "It's not an exit strategy, it's about assisting the Afghans" in taking responsibility for their own security, she explained. Declaring significant progress in disrupting al-Qaeda and combatting the Taliban President Barack Obama said 16 December 2010 the United States will start withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan in July 2011. President Obama said "we are on track to achieve our goals" in the Afghan war and to "start reducing our forces next July." He added the drawdown will "conclude in 2014."
2011 Drawdown Speech
On 22 June 2011 President Obama addressed the nation from the White House and announced that 10,000 troops would be withdrawn by the end of 2011 and an additional 23,000 troops will leave the country by the summer of 2012. He said the drawdown would continue "at a steady pace" until the United States handed over security to the Afghan authorities in 2014. "We are starting this drawdown from a position of strength," Obama said. "Al Qaeda is under more pressure than at any time since 9/11." Asserting that the country that served as a base for the 11 September 2001, attacks no longer represented a terrorist threat to the United States, Mr. Obama declared that the "tide of war is receding." The announced drawdown will leave approximately 68,000 U.S....