Julie Pace
Associated Press
June 21, 2011

President Barack Obama will move the United States a step closer to ending the war in Afghanistan when he announces plans Wednesday to bring thousands of American troops home, beginning next month.

Administration officials said the president was still in the final phase of a decision-making process that has focused not only on how many troops will come home in July, but also on a broader withdrawal blueprint designed to put the U.S. on a path toward giving Afghans control of their security by 2014.

Obama was given a range of options for the withdrawal last week by Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan. The military favors a gradual reduction in troops but other advisers are advocating a significant decrease in the coming months.

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