August 1st, 2010
04:52 PM ET

Planned U.S. draw-down a sensitive issue

WASHINGTON - Less than a year from the scheduled start of
withdrawing some troops from Afghanistan, opinions remain varied about exactly what will happen when the transition begins at the end of June 2011.

The Obama administration has made clear some troops - no one can say how many - will start withdrawing by next July from stable areas where Afghan forces can provide security.

However, questions over how to measure success and whether the almost 9-year-old war is worth the continuing U.S. investment in lives and resources are gaining prominence as congressional mid-term elections approach in November.

In interviews with military and political leaders broadcast Sunday,
scenarios presented on what happens next year ranged from guarded optimism to serious concern. While most views followed expected party talking points, all appeared grounded in the common belief that success is vital even as they differed on what it would be.

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