Troop Withdrawal Set as Afghan War Progress Murky

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America has reached a major milestone in the Afghanistan war as U.S. military personnel are set to begin coming home in July.

President Barack Obama will announce just how many of those troops will be homeward bound, in a much anticipated speech Wednesday.

"I feel like we have the initiative. We have the momentum," said Brig. Gen. Steve Townsend, the deputy commanding general of operations for the 101st Airborne Division.

But the question remains: How does the U.S. maintain a troop level that allows the military to maintain its momentum in Afghanistan even as polls show more than half of Americans say the war is not worth the cost?

"If we accelerate withdrawal right now because we're war weary, we're going to lose this war," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said.

CBN News Military Reporter Chuck Holton is in Afghanistan with troops.  Click play for his comments on the situation there and how a July withdrawal could impact U.S. soldiers and the Afghan people.

"I think that when you look at the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, it's bleak," said Scott Worden, a senior rule of law advisor at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

There are currently more than 100,000 U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan. Diplomatic relations with the country remain tense.

"When I hear some of your leaders call us occupiers and likened to the brutal enemies of the Afghan people, my people in turn are filled with confusion and they grow weary of our effort here," said U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, himself a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general.

The big question is what will become of the country once the U.S. pulls its forces out? Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the United States is already talking with the Taliban.

President Obama recently said he is open to talks, but only under certain conditions.

"The Taliban would have to cut all ties to al-Qaeda and they would have to respect the Afghan constitution," he explained.

The president's decision on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan isn't the only big military change on the table. He's also losing senior U.S. leaders who have years of experience managing the war.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is retiring next week. Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. David Rodriguez, the top two American generals in Kabul, will soon begin new assignments.

Eikenberry will also soon leave his post as ambassador to Afghanistan.

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Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at