Entries in US Troops (5)


Obama to Announce 34,000 Troops Coming Home from Afghanistan

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will announce at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address that 34,000 troops -- more than half of those currently serving in the combat region -- will be back from Afghanistan a year from Tuesday, according to a source familiar with the speech.

Roughly 66,000 U.S. troops are serving in Afghanistan.  The military has proposed keeping several thousand troops in the country after 2014 as advisers, trainers and logistical support for Afghan forces; the White House has said it remains open to pulling out all troops entirely.

In January, during a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Obama said that most U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan would end this spring, signaling a quickening troop drawdown that will bring the decade-long war to a close at the end of 2014.

“Our troops will continue to fight alongside Afghans when needed, but let me say it as plainly as I can: Starting this spring, our troops will have a different mission -- training, advising, assisting Afghan forces,” Obama said on Jan. 11 at a news conference in Washington, D.C.

The president's comments planned for the State of the Union address will detail specific numbers along with that new mission.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obamas Greet Troops on Christmas

The White House(HONOLULU) -- In what has become a holiday tradition, President Obama and the first lady spent Christmas afternoon greeting service members at the Marines Corps base near their Hawaiian vacation home.

Spreading some holiday cheer, the Obamas wished the troops and their families a Merry Christmas and thanked them for their service.

“This looks like it was a nice rather than naughty crowd so I’m sure Santa treated you well,” Obama joked as he walked into the mess hall at the base in Kaneohe Bay.

“One of our favorite things is always coming to the base on Christmas Day and having a chance just to meet you, those of you who have families here, and to say thank you for the extraordinary work and service that you guys do each and every day,” he said in his brief remarks.

Obama noted that “we’re still in a wartime footing” even as troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

“Some of you may have loved ones who are deployed there.  Some of you may be about to be deployed there.  And so we know that it’s not easy,” he said.

“But what we also want you to know is that you have the entire country behind you, and that all of us understand that we would be nowhere without the extraordinary service that you guys provide,” Obama added.

After his remarks, the president and first lady posed for pictures with the troops.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul Salutes Veterans, Says He Plans to Bring Troops Home

ABC News(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Ron Paul told a room full of veterans Wednesday night that he plans to drastically cut overseas spending.

“It would mean that we would bring the troops home,” Paul said, smiling as he touted the economic benefit during a salute to veterans rally in Des Moines, Iowa.

Earlier in the day, Paul again questioned why the United States needed to maintain a military presence in Australia, Germany, Japan and South Korea -- even as the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il raised concerns about the region’s stability.

“How long do we have to stay in Korea?” he asked at a campaign event at the Iowa Speedway in Newton.  “We were there since I was in high school.”

Paul’s non-interventionist view for America is sure to incite even more criticism from his GOP rivals, who have been hammering the Texas congressman for his view that Iran should be able to develop a nuclear program for peaceful purposes.

Mitt Romney became the latest in line Wednesday to take a swipe at Paul, a day after Newt Gingrich unabashedly said that he would not vote for Paul if he were to win the GOP nomination.

Romney indirectly blasted comments made by Paul earlier this month that cautioned against “jumping the gun” on Iran.

“At the same time, the greatest threat Israel faces and, frankly, the greatest threat that the world faces is a nuclear Iran,” the former Massachusetts governor said during a meet-and-greet at a coffee shop in Muscatine, Iowa.  “We have differing views on this.  Some of the people -- actually one of the people running for president -- thinks it’s okay for Iran to have a nuclear weapon.  I don’t.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Perry Slams Obama Over US Troop Withdrawal, Parade

ABC News(URBANDALE, Iowa) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry accused President Obama of putting politics ahead of troops at an early morning stop in Iowa Wednesday, criticizing the president for not holding a welcome home parade as the final soldiers returned from Iraq this month.

“As a veteran, as the commander-in-chief of our forces in Texas, some 20,000 young men and women who’ve been deployed multiple times, who I’ve had the opportunity and the great privilege to go visit in their theaters and welcome them home, have sent them off with ceremonies, it really disturbs me that nearly after nine years of war in Iraq, that this president wouldn’t welcome home our many heroes with a simple parade in their honor,” Perry told a crowd of 200 caucus goers at the Westside Conservative Club breakfast at the Machine Shed restaurant in Urbandale.  “Mr. President, our soldiers come first and it comes before party politics.  We need to welcome our soldiers home, give them that parade.  Give them that pat on the back.  Tell them thank you for the freedom that we have in this country.”

Perry has long criticized Obama’s decision to disclose an end date for pulling U.S. troops in Iraq, arguing that the president put political expediency ahead of the safety of American soldiers.

“Most importantly you don’t tell the enemy what your timetable is going to be,” Perry told reporters in October, shortly after Obama set the deadline.  “This administration has signaled, telegraphed its intentions all too often, and that’s just unacceptable.  The last thing that you want to do is put those men and women’s lives in peril, and I think that’s what the president’s done by making a political statement to his base that he’s going to be out of Iraq on a date certain.”

The Texas governor also railed against the president for requesting a $1 trillion hike in the debt ceiling along with slamming his healthcare plan, saying “Obamacare is going to destroy healthcare in this country.”

Perry has three more events in Iowa Wednesday afternoon -- two meet and greets in Indianola and Pella, and a town hall in Oskaloosa.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


First Lady Urges Support for US Troops on Thanksgiving

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a Thanksgiving web video and email message, first lady Michelle Obama encourages Americans to express their gratitude to U.S. military service members and their families Thursday by placing a phone call or writing an online message.

“Last year on Thanksgiving, Barack stepped into the office for a bit to call some of the men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to thank them for their service. And when he told me about those conversations, it reminded me once again of how blessed we are to live in a country like this where our freedoms are guided by the service of so many heroes,” the first lady says in the video.

Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces initiative partnered with the USO to launch a new website, Thanks From Everywhere, that allows visitors to post notes to the troops on an interactive map.  

Each red dot on the map represents an individual message that visitors to the site can read and share.

“From one of the 99 percent who don’t want you in harm’s way without good reason -- just thanks,” writes Frank Erickson of Washington state.

Peter Fischer of Maine says, “I know personally while serving in the Marine Corps what it was like not to be home for the holidays, and I want you all to know that no matter where you are, someone is always thinking of you.”

And John and Reba Matthews of Arkansas posted, “Thank all of you so very much. May “God” bless and keep you. We don’t know you but we do.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio