President Obama is widely expected to spend much of tonight's State of the Union talking about jobs and the economy, but he'll also likely find time to talk about a whole host of topics, both at home and abroad. The Associated Press scoops one of those major talking points: The withdrawal of 34,000 American troops from Afghanistan over the next year.
The highly-anticipated announcement on the next phase of the troop withdrawal will cut the size of the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan in half by next February. The drawdown puts the U.S. on pace to formally finish the protracted war by the end of 2014.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that the Pentagon is pushing a plan that would keep about 8,000 U.S. troops in the country once the NATO military mission officially ends at the end of next year. That number would then shrink significantly over the following two years. The plan, the paper explains, "represents an effort to strike a compromise" between top military commanders, who were hoping for a 10,000-strong force after 2014, and Obama's senior civilian advisers, who were pushing for a much smaller long-term presence.
TODAY IN SLATE
I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.
Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.
After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales
Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos
If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter
Giving Up on Goodell
How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.