Kerry praises Obama plan for Afghanistan

June 23, 2011 - 7:29 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. John Kerry is praising President Barack Obama's plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, saying it will allow Afghans to "make their own choices about their own future."

Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CBS' "Early Show" on Thursday that the plan "will change the political calculation of everybody on the ground."

Obama said Wednesday that 10,000 U.S. troops will come home from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and a total of 33,000 troops will be withdrawn by next summer.

Kerry says Obama's 2009 troop surge, which sent 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, "put the Taliban on its heels." The Massachusetts Democrat says the U.S. now needs "considerably fewer troops" there to prevent the Taliban from regaining control.