Pentagon takes lead on troop withdrawal in Afghanistan

President Obama is letting his commanders make a lot of the critical Afghanistan troop withdrawal decisions. The administration says the commanders will decide things like the number of troops to leave first and whether they will be combat forces. That way, General Petraeus can pace this year’s withdrawals to preserve combat power through the end of October or November. General Petraeus and Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen didn’t provide details on what the July pullout would look like. Admiral Mullen says the President was giving commanders a lot of free range with the withdrawal, as long as they meet the President’s broad timelines.

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