Report: White House considering new, steeper pullout from Afghanistan

President Obama’s national security team is contemplating troop reductions in Afghanistan that would be steeper than those discussed even a few weeks ago, with some officials arguing that such a change is justified by the rising cost of the war and the death of Osama bin Laden, which they called new “strategic considerations.”…

Before the new thinking, American officials were anticipating an initial drawdown of 3,000 to 5,000 troops. Those advocating steeper troop reductions did not propose a withdrawal schedule.

Mr. Gates, on his 12th and final visit to Afghanistan as defense secretary, argued repeatedly on Sunday that pulling out too fast would threaten the gains the American-led coalition had made in the 18 months since Mr. Obama agreed to a “surge” of 30,000 troops.