(CNN) - President Barack Obama will deliver a highly anticipated speech on the U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday. He is expected to announce that 30,000 U.S. "surge" forces will be fully withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, an administration official said.
Obama has been mulling how many troops should be withdrawn this summer and by the end of the year. The President is expected to stress the importance of preserving flexibility in force levels on the ground so commanders can adjust as conditions warrant, the official said.
Though many critics have said it's long past time to get out of Afghanistan, others say it's too soon to leave. This morning on American Morning, CNN's Barbara Starr and fmr. National Security Council Member Brett McGurk preview President Obama's Afghanistan speech and examine the pros and cons of leaving the country.
This week, we're taking an in-depth look at States in Crisis. Across the country, one thing they seem to have in common is a sea of red ink.
To that end, the U.S. Conference of Mayors is now on record, calling for an early end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They say the money spent on the wars should be put to use at home.
This morning on American Morning, Kiran Chetry speaks with Madison, Wisconsin Mayor Paul Soglin and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett about their support for the U.S. Conference of Mayors resolution to end the wars.
In an interview that aired Sunday on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley, outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirmed
negotiations that began weeks ago with the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan. He insisted there's only one way these talks
"I think that the Taliban have to feel themselves under military pressure, and begin to believe that they can't win before they're
willing to have a serious conversation," Gates says. "We've all said all along that a political outcome is the way most of these
wars end. The question is...when and if they're ready to talk seriously about meeting the redlines that President Karzai,
and that the coalition have laid down, including totally disavowing al Qaeda."
This morning, Carol Costello and Kiran Chetry spoke with General George Joulwan, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander who has helped lead successful talks with guerilla forces in El Salvador during its civil war. He explains if talking to the Taliban is a good idea.
What is the U.S. role in Afghanistan and where and how does it end? Does the death of Bin Laden change the equation? How does Pakistan fit in? CNN’s Kiran Chetry talks to Lisa Curtis, former CIA analyst and former state department adviser, and David Rittgers, legal policy analyst at the Cato Institute and former special forces officer in Afghanistan, about the future of the U.S. war in Afghanistan following the killing of Osama bin Laden.
The Super Bowl is around the corner and, as is custom, many Americans will be chowing down on pizza.
But it's a little harder for service men and women thousands of miles away to order a slice–and that's where Mark Evans comes in. Evans is the Founder of Pizza 4 Patriots, an organization which delivers pizza to America's service men and women overseas. In partnership with UNO and DHL, Pizza 4 Patriots will be sending 7,000 pizzas to service members on Super Bowl Sunday. The pizzas will leave from JFK Airport on a special DHL flight to Bahrain and, from there, they will either go to Afghanistan or Iraq.
Mark Evans tells CNN's T.J. Holmes about Pizza 4 Patrios.