Minister hints at earlier exit from Afghanistan
Friday 27 July 2012
The withdrawal of British forces from Afghanistan, due by the end of 2014, could be accelerated if the US judged it was safe, the Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, said.
As well as removing troops from harm's way, an early departure would have a financial benefit, as the UK's presence in the country costs about £3bn a year. But the move would alarm commanders who fear leaving too early would jeopardise gains made at the cost of British lives, and retained by "boots on the ground".
Britain has 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, with 500 to be pulled out of Helmand this year. Mr Hammond said: "We haven't yet decided what the profile of the draw-down is going to be between this autumn … and the end of 2014. That is something we will look at towards the end of this year when we understand better what our allies in Afghanistan are planning."
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Israel-Gaza crisis: ‘We just want it to end… We don’t deserve to live like this’
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad urgently seeks a qualif...
£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP BI CONSULTA...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + 36 days holiday and more: Deerfoot IT Resources Li...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Liverpool: We are looking for someone who can t...