Obama's Afghan plan to start with 5,000 troop cut

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama is expected to unveil plans to remove about 5,000 US troops from Afghanistan in July and up to 5,000 more by year-end as he lays out a broader withdrawal blueprint on Wednesday to Americans increasingly weary of the costly, decade-old war.
Obama will announce the first phase of a promised drawdown and could also commit to removing by the end of 2012 the remainder of the 30,000 extra "surge" troops he ordered deployed 18 months ago, according to a congressional source and and US official familiar with the deliberations.
The president made his final decision on Tuesday on the scale and pace of a US troop pullback in Afghanistan and will outline his plan in a televised address from the White House at 8 p.m. EDT (midnight GMT) on Wednesday.