U.S. President Barack Obama announced in a televised address on Wednesday that he will accelerate the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, with 10,000 set to leave this year. By next summer, 20,000 more troops will be pulled out of the war-torn country. In his address, Obama said the U.S. and its NATO allies have made significant progress in its fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. He didn’t rule out the possibility of attaining peace with the Taliban, but emphasized that the group of Islamic radicals must renounce violence in order for negotiations to be successful. After the accelerated troop withdrawal, there will still be 70,000 American troops in Afghanistan. Obama recognized that Americans are growing tired of the decade-long war, and said the U.S. will hand over security operations to the Afghan Army and police by 2014. More than 1,500 Americans have died and 12,000 wounded in Afghanistan since the U.S. invaded in 2001. The war costs US$10 billion a month.