A total of 10,000 troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of this year, and more than 20,000 additional forces will leave by the summer of 2012, President Barack Obama announced Wednesday night.
Conceding the economic strain of waging war at a time of rising debt and fiscal constraint, Obama said it was time for America "to focus on nation building here at home."
However, the timeline put forth in Obama's troop withdrawl plan angered lawmakers, and congressional Democrats are leading the criticism, saying the timeline isn't fast enough.
Almost 70,000 U.S. troops will remain in the unstable country, fighting in a war bound to see more Americans killed. Obama said they will leave at a steady pace, but the U.S. combat mission is not expected to end until December 2014.
Read more about Congressional reaction to Obama's speech on the Afghanistan drawdown from The Associated Press.