December 7th, 2009
09:55 AM ET

Obama aides: 2011 is just the beginning of withdrawal

Top aides to President Obama on Sunday signaled that some U.S. troops could start coming home from Afghanistan as soon as July 2011, but most would likely remain there for several years.

In appearances on all the major talk shows, Cabinet officials and military advisers clarified the president's position after he walked a political tightrope by announcing he will send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and that some will start coming home in 19 months.

National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones told CNN's "State of the Union" that the July 2011 start of withdrawal was "not a cliff, it's a ramp" for beginning to turn over security responsibility to Afghan forces.

Read more or watch more of John King's interview with National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones

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Filed under: Decision: Afghanistan
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