Many were surprised when Prime Minister David Cameron announced the 2013 plan for Afghanistan troop pullouts, much slower and smaller than officials in his government had initially predicted it would be.
In a visit to Helmand Province today, Cameron raised hope that the initial report could still happen, saying the plan has “flexibility” and that more troops cut be withdrawn faster than he announced.
Cameron insisted that the speed would reflect the “success” of the 11+ year occupation of Afghanistan, that the war was “the right decision” and that Afghanistan would never again be a “haven for terrorism.”
Britain currently has 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, with 500 set to leave by the end of this year. Another 3,800 are poised to leave in 2013, and a “similar” amount are planned to leave in 2014, with more troops staying beyond that date.