US set for big Afghanistan troop cut

“There’s going to be a draw down. I am confident that it will be one that’s substantial. I certainly hope so” said Senate Democrat.

US military drawdown AfghanistanWASHINGTON– The United States is on the verge of announcing a “substantial” draw down of American troops from Afghanistan, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Friday.

“There’s going to be a drawdown. I am confident that it will be one that’s substantial. I certainly hope so,” the leading Senate Democrat said during an interview with PBS Newshour.

There currently are 100,000 US troops fighting in Afghanistan, up from about 34,000 when President Barack Obama, a Democrat, took office in 2009.

Reid also defended Obama’s military activities against Libya, which were undertaken without approval from the US Congress.

He said the 1973 US War Powers Resolution, which sets out the powers of the president and Congress on US military action, “has no application” to operations under way against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, noting no US combat troops were committed there.

Besides, Reid added, “This thing’s going to be over before you know it anyway.”

Republicans in the US House of Representatives have threatened to cut funding for US military operations in Libya because Obama did not get lawmakers’ consent.

On Afghanistan, Reid noted that the American public suffered “war fatigue” from combat there that has been going on for nearly 10 years.

Reid, who met this week with General David Petraeus, the US commander in Afghanistan, said he thought the administration could announce the troop draw down the week after next. But he added that he had “no inside information.”

The war in Afghanistan against the Taliban insurgency is costing US taxpayers more than $110 billion a year – Khaleejtimes.com