The U.K Leaving Afghanistan The prime minister’s announcement on Wednesday December 19th, marks the start of the withdrawal of all UK combat troops from Afghanistan before the end of 2014. A similar decision is expected next month from Barack Obama, US president, on the much larger US contingent of 60,000 troops. It is also the first stage in a reorientation of the UK’s military posture overseas, which will see Britain moving out of south Asia and increasingly focusing on new security threats that are emerging in north Africa and the Middle East.
The cut in UK forces – 500 who had already been pledged to leave this year and 3,800 next year – means that Britain will remove nearly half of the 9,500 troops serving in Afghanistan by December 2013. The reduction reflects a strong belief in the UK and US that good progress is being made in training the Afghan National Army to lead security operations after Nato forces leave the country at the end of 2014.