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.

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