President Obama in his State of the Union address Tuesday will announce that 34,000 American troops will return from Afghanistan within a year, according to a source familiar with the president’s speech.
That figure represents roughly half of the U.S. troops now in Afghanistan. Obama will tout the winding down of the war there as part of his commitment to lessen the U.S. footprint in the volatile Middle East.
Last month, Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced a plan to speed the transition of combat operations to Afghan forces.
By highlighting the return of U.S. troops, Obama will add foreign-policy heft to a State of the Union speech mostly focused on domestic priorities.