Ben Rhodes (whitehouse.gov):
Our troops have provided extraordinary service and sacrifice in both Afghanistan and Iraq for nearly ten years. Last night, the President spoke to the American people about the way forward in Afghanistan, and outlined his plan to remove 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and a total of 33,000 by next summer, with reductions continuing after that at a steady pace. He also put the drawdown in the broader context of the last decade, and our effort to wind down these wars while keeping America safe. As President Obama said:Howie P.S.: This graphic popped up after the "Ending the Surge But Not The War" graphic appeared on Think Progress earlier today.
Yet tonight, we take comfort in knowing that the tide of war is receding. Fewer of our sons and daughters are serving in harm’s way. We’ve ended our combat mission in Iraq, with 100,000 American troops already out of that country. And even as there will be dark days ahead in Afghanistan, the light of a secure peace can be seen in the distance. These long wars will come to a responsible end.