Senators press for sizable Afghanistan withdrawal

June 15, 2011 - 10:29 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic and Republican senators are circulating a letter to President Barack Obama pressing for a "sizable and sustained" withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Obama is to make a decision in the coming weeks on how many of the 100,000 American forces he should withdraw from Afghanistan in July. Many war-weary lawmakers are pushing for deep cuts, citing the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden as a game-changer.

In the letter, more than two dozen senators say it makes no sense to maintain a significant number of troops in Afghanistan. They said troop cuts should include combat forces.

The senators say it is misguided for the United States to think it could do nation-building in Afghanistan. They said a shift in strategy is necessary.