(Image Source: U.S. Army)

BY LAUREN ZIMA

Breaking news out of Washington Tuesday morning; sources tell CNN that president Obama will announce a massive troop withdrawal from Afghanistan during his State of the Union Address: 34,000 troops will be out by this time next year. With about 66,000 troops currently in Afghanistan, that means about half would be removed.

Also on Tuesday, a new poll from the Washington Post shows a vast majority of voters support Obama ending the war in Afghanistan -- so such an announcement could certainly increase approval.

JAKE TAPPER: “A big foreign policy decision to be made, it's expected to be largely about domestic issues and the middle class.”
“Yeah, we’ve been talking about jobs, jobs, jobs as the focus of this.”

USA Today reports Obama will also say reductions will continue through the end of 2014, with Afghans taking a more prominent role in their own security.

But an opinion writer for Politico worries the President is now too focused on his legacy -- arguing Mr. Obama needs to present a better strategy in Afghanistan for the years ahead, not just focus on getting troops out.

“ … the Afghanistan War is too important — to this country’s security, to the president’s legacy, to the memories and honor of those fellow Americans who have sacrificed so much there — for us to just limp out of the place over the next two years. We can and must do better.”

There are conflicting reports as to whether the President will address a plan for troops beyond 2014. He has said in the past that he plans to bring the war to a close by the end of 2014. But despite the big announcement, the economy is still expected to take center stage at the SOTU.

Obama to Announce Major Troop Withdrawal In SOTU

by Lauren Zima
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Transcript
Feb 12, 2013

Obama to Announce Major Troop Withdrawal In SOTU

(Image Source: U.S. Army)

BY LAUREN ZIMA

Breaking news out of Washington Tuesday morning; sources tell CNN that president Obama will announce a massive troop withdrawal from Afghanistan during his State of the Union Address: 34,000 troops will be out by this time next year. With about 66,000 troops currently in Afghanistan, that means about half would be removed.

Also on Tuesday, a new poll from the Washington Post shows a vast majority of voters support Obama ending the war in Afghanistan -- so such an announcement could certainly increase approval.

JAKE TAPPER: “A big foreign policy decision to be made, it's expected to be largely about domestic issues and the middle class.”
“Yeah, we’ve been talking about jobs, jobs, jobs as the focus of this.”

USA Today reports Obama will also say reductions will continue through the end of 2014, with Afghans taking a more prominent role in their own security.

But an opinion writer for Politico worries the President is now too focused on his legacy -- arguing Mr. Obama needs to present a better strategy in Afghanistan for the years ahead, not just focus on getting troops out.

“ … the Afghanistan War is too important — to this country’s security, to the president’s legacy, to the memories and honor of those fellow Americans who have sacrificed so much there — for us to just limp out of the place over the next two years. We can and must do better.”

There are conflicting reports as to whether the President will address a plan for troops beyond 2014. He has said in the past that he plans to bring the war to a close by the end of 2014. But despite the big announcement, the economy is still expected to take center stage at the SOTU.

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