That's about half the U.S. forces currently serving there, and marks the next phase in the administration's plans to formally finish the war by the end of 2014, The AP
writes. There are about 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, according to Reuters.
As Reuters states
Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai last month agreed to speed the handover of combat operations in Afghanistan to Afghan forces.
Washington's NATO allies have been steadily reducing their troop numbers despite doubts about the ability of Afghan forces to shoulder full responsibility for security, Reuters reports.
But many Americans are weary of the war and are skeptical of any claim that Afghanistan is worth more U.S. blood, according to the AP.
In fact, a Washington Post poll out Tuesday morning shows that 80% of registered voters support the president's policy to end the war in Afghanistan, CNN
The U.S. is still finalizing plans for the size and scope of its military presence after the war ends. The White House has said it would be open to leaving no troops in Afghanistan, though it's likely that a small presence will remain, in keeping with the Pentagon's preferences.
The people familiar with Obama's remarks requested anonymity in order to discuss the troop drawdown ahead of the president.
In his State of the Union speech , President Obama will announce that by this time next year, 34,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan will have returned home,