The leaders of the House Progressive Caucus write a letter urging President Obama to announce a "significant drawdown of U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan":

In the wake of Osama Bin Laden's death, now is the time to shift toward the swift, safe, and responsible withdrawal of U.S. troops and military contractors from Afghanistan. We, the undersigned Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), strongly urge you to announce plans for a near-term and significant drawdown of U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan beginning no later than July of this year.

On March 16, 2011, 81 Members of Congress sent you a letter asserting that the forthcoming reduction in U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan must be significant and sizeable, and executed in an orderly fashion. This bipartisan message stressed the urgency of creating economic opportunities here at home and said that the redeployment of only a minimal number of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in July would not meet the expectations of Congress or the American people.

As one Capitol Hill aide points out, Defense secretary Robert Gates has repeatedly said that “considerations about any drawdown of forces must be driven by security conditions and the ISAF commander’s operational needs, and not by mathematical calculation shaped by political concern.”

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