British DM: Troops Could Withdraw From Afghanistan Sooner

More Troops May Be Able to Leave in 2013

New comments from Defense Minister Philip Hammond suggest the British military is considering speeding the rate of its withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying he is surprised by the “readiness” of the Afghan forces.

Britain is scheduled to withdraw 500 troops by the end of this year, but had not previously scheduled further moves until 2014, when the remainder of their forces would leave. Hammond says they are considering moving troops out in 2013 now.

Though British officials are denying that this is the case, it is believed that the growing number of “green-on-blue” attacks against NATO occupation forces has convinced Britain to move out while the getting is good.

Britain is one of several NATO nations hoping to remove their troops by the end of 2014. Though the US is pushing this date as the “end” of the war, President Obama signed a deal to keep troops in the nation through 2024.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.