Obama: Decision soon on troop levels in Afghanistan

President Obama said Monday that he will make a decision soon regarding his plan to draw down troops in Afghanistan. 

Obama would not say if the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden will lead him to accelerate troop drawdowns, which could begin next month, but he did say that bin Laden's death was a major milestone for the United States's mission in Afghanistan.

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"What I’ve said is that this summer is going to be a summer of transition,” Obama said when asked by Cleveland's WEWS-TV about troop withdrawals. “By killing bin Laden, by blunting the Taliban, we have now accomplished a lot of what we set out to accomplish 10 years ago."

Obama's decision on U.S. troop withdrawals has become highly awaited as the clock ticks down to the July 2011 drawdown date he set in 2009, when he sent additional 30,000 troops to the war-torn nation. 

The New York Times reported Sunday that Obama's national security team is considering larger-than-expected withdrawals, considering the rising cost of the war in lieu of the debate over the nation's debt and bin Laden's death. 

Obama convened his monthly meeting with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan Monday morning, a session that lasted nearly two hours, according to White House press secretary Jay Carney. 

Carney said that drawdowns were not part of the discussion at the meeting.

"It was not a topic of discussion. It was not on the agenda," he said. "The president has not received yet a recommendation from his commanders or the secretary of Defense for a troop drawdown figure. That will obviously be a decision he makes relatively soon."