Obama: More Troops Coming Home from Afghanistan

Over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan as part of the phased drawdown of US combat forces from there, announced President Obama in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. “Already, we have brought home 33,000 of our brave servicemen and women,” he stated, noting that the US troop drawdown will continue through the end of 2014 when “our war in Afghanistan will be over,” and the United States will shift to training and equipping Afghan forces. Obama also said in his Feb. 12 speech the United States will “engage Russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals.” Regarding North Korea, which tested a nuclear device on Tuesday, Obama said the United States would “strengthen” its missile defenses and “lead the world in taking firm action in response” to such provocations. Further, the United States “will do what is necessary to prevent” Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, he said. Obama also announced that he signed an executive order on Tuesday that strengthens cyber defenses “by increasing information sharing, and developing standards” to protect national security, jobs, and privacy. (See also Panetta statement on Afghanistan.)