Several options were presented to President Barack Obama by a top U.S. commander to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan, the White House said on Thursday, an indication that a plan would be announced soon.
General David Petraeus presented recommendations to Obama and the president's national security advisers in a meeting on Wednesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
They discussed a range of options. As I think the general said in the past publicly, this was a question of options plural and not option. That conversation will continue, Carney said in a White House news briefing.
Carney reiterated that an initial drawdown would begin in July and said Obama would announce relatively soon how quickly and how many troops would be withdrawn.
In the aftermath of last month's killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, support has been growing in Washington for a move to curtail the U.S. role in Afghanistan, where more than 1,600 troops have died, according to official figures.
But the White House has been waiting on Petraeus' recommendations before fixing that plan.
Carney said that the president will also do what he promised to do, soon: Begin withdrawing some of the 30,000 additional troops added in 2009 to create a surge in Afghanistan.
We think it is very significant that he does what he said he would do, Carney said.