Mullen initially wanted slower Afghan drawdown

Just hours after President Obama announced his plans to begin bringing U.S. forces in Afghanistan home, the military's top officer told Congress that the pace of the president's withdrawal plans is faster than he initially wanted. "The president's decisions are more aggressive and incur more risk than I was originally prepared to accept," Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen told the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday morning. Mullen said he would not reveal the details of his private conversations with Obama, but said he now supports the plan to pull 10,000 troops out of Afghanistan before the end of the year and bring home another 23,000 by next summer. Afghan war commander Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. James Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command, are also on board with the plan, Mullen said. Mullen, who will retire in September, said military leaders were very involved in the decision-making process. "We were given voice in this process," Mullen said. "We offered our views freely and without hesitation. And they were heard."
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec