12 Dec '11, 8am

Australia to speed up Afghan withdrawal: SYDNEY: Australia will dramatically cut the number of soldiers it has s...

SYDNEY: Australia will dramatically cut the number of soldiers it has serving in Afghanistan over the next year, bringing forward to 2013 the bulk of its pullout from the war-torn nation, a report said Monday. The Sydney Morning Herald said sources had revealed that the defence department was working on a plan to drastically lower the number of troops mentoring Afghan soldiers in restive Uruzgan province by 2013. Under the plan, only 150 soldiers will be rotated into Uruzgan as a group to mentor the Afghans in late 2012, a vastly reduced figure from the 900 currently there, it said, without naming sources. "Why don't they leave a full complement of people there until the mentoring is completed to provide security for the Afghan and Australian forces?" one source told the paper. "The only reason I can think of is that it's politically expedient, and I just think that's unac...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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