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How many troops to withdraw?

President Barack Obama’s national security team this week revisited the same vexing issues it worked through a year ago in devising the administration’s troop escalation in Afghanistan.

world Updated: Dec 16, 2010 23:53 IST

President Barack Obama’s national security team this week revisited the same vexing issues it worked through a year ago in devising the administration’s troop escalation in Afghanistan. This time, one key element was missing: impassioned dissent.

While the group concluded that Obama’s counterinsurgency strategy is showing progress, divisions persist beneath the appearance of harmony. But skeptics have decided to hold their fire until next spring, when Obama must decide how many troops he intends to withdraw starting in July.

“The real debate will occur when we have to determine how big the July ‘11 drawdown will be,” said a senior administration official.

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