President Barack Obama is scheduled to address the nation Wednesday night about withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan.
The President is expected to lay out his plan for implementing his strategy, first unveiled in December 2009, to reduce American troop numbers there.
Currently about 100-thousand U.S. forces are serving in Afghanistan, and according to the Associated Press, the President is likely to withdraw 10-thousand troops this year. The AP cites a senior U.S. defense official saying about 5-thousand would leave Afghanistan this summer, followed by an additional 5-thousand by the end of the year.
“I think that this would be a good time withdraw, to draw down the troops,” said former Senator Ted Kaufman (D-Delaware). “That’s what the President said he was gonna do originally.”
Kaufman, who was appointed to carry out former Senator Joe Biden’s term after he resigned to become Vice President, says this announcement is long overdue for America’s servicemen and women and their families. He traveled to the region several times during his time in the U.S. Senate.
“They’re just folks, just like you and me. Such a small percentage of the people are bearing the brunt of these two wars. It’s just great for the families and for the actual troops to be able to come home,” said Kaufman.
Last week, Senator Chris Coons called on President Obama to make a “substantial” draw-down of U.S. forces, the first step in what he described as a more targeted counterterrorism strategy. In an op-ed appearing in last Wednesday’s News Journal, Senator Coons described America’s current strategy as “unsustainable.”
“I think he got the heart of it… I think we’re in essentially the same place, just a little different maybe mechanically on what we should do at this point,” added Kaufman.
The President will speak to the nation from the White House at 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday, June 22nd. It will be carried on WHYY-FM, 90.9.