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Obama ‘finalizing’ Afghan troop decision

US President Barack Obama was finalizing his decision on the size of planned troop cuts in Afghanistan as expectations mounted Monday of a possible announcement within days.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama still had not definitively made up his mind on the size of a drawdown he promised would begin in July, when he announced a 30,000 strong troop surge in December 2009.

"He's finalizing his decision. He's reviewing the options and the assessments and will have an announcement to make soon," Carney said.

"What I can say affirmatively, because I know for a fact, having been in a room where this was discussed, that the president has not yet even made a decision to announce," Carney said.

Indications that Obama may be moving close to a decision increased in volume when it emerged the White House had scheduled a visit for the president to Fort Drum Army base in upstate New York on Thursday.

Carney steered reporters away from assuming that the president would make an announcement on the troop drawdown at the base, but his comments did not appear to preclude a decision coming before the visit.

Fort Drum is the headquarters of the Army's 10th Mountain Division, which has sent soldiers on repeated tours of Afghanistan.


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