US Officials say troops withdrawal on sked
WASHINGTON — The planned withdrawal of more than 30,000 US "surge" troops from Afghanistan will be completed ahead of an end-of-month target date, officials said Friday.
President Barack Obama ordered in reinforcements in December 2009 and last year promised to have the additional troops withdrawn before the end of 2012.
Commanders had aimed to have the troops out by the end of September and defense officials say the drawdown is ahead of schedule.
US troop levels in Afghanistan, which rose to about 100,000 at the peak of the surge, are now down to 77,000, according to a Pentagon tally.
When all the surge forces are withdrawn, the American contingent will be down to 68,000 troops.
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