US drawdown begins in Afghanistan, first troops leave

By REUTERS
July 15, 2011 14:57

KABUL - The first US troops have left Afghanistan as part of US President Barack Obama's planned drawdown of about a third of the 100,000 US forces there during the next year.

Facing growing political opposition to the nearly decade-old war, Obama announced in June the withdrawal plan, which was a faster timetable than the military had recommended.

The first 10,000 troops will come home by the end of the year, but Obama left the details up to his commanders.

US Lt. Col. Wayne Perry, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said about 650 troops who had completed their rotation in Afghanistan left on Wednesday as scheduled, and would not be replaced.


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