Afghan officials welcome drawdown, others dismayed
KABUL, Afghanistan – President Barack Obama's decision to bring half of America's 66,000 troops home within a year was welcomed Wednesday by Afghan officials who have long agitated to control their country, but was greeted with dismay by Afghans who think America failed to keep its promise of a better and safer life.
A troop drawdown was widely expected, but for the first time, Obama said how many. For some Afghans, Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday underscored the reality that foreign troops were indeed leaving – and sooner than expected.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai viewed the announcement as good news. He has pushed for a faster withdrawal of international troops, arguing that his country is sovereign and should control its own fate.
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