In a speech outlining a shift in US policy, the US President said after the initial reduction, more troops will be pulled out at a steady pace as Afghans take over their own security by 2014.
"America, it is time to focus on nation-building here at home," he said.
President Obama said the US is able to remove troops because al Qaeda is under more pressure than at any time since the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, that precipitated the war.
He said the US will join initiatives aimed at reconciling the Afghan people, including the Taliban, as the Afghan government and security forces are strengthened. (read more)