Thousands of British, German troops to leave Afghanistan in 2013
LONDON (REUTERS, AFP) - Britain and Germany plan to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan next year, as pressure mounts to end the two countries' involvement in a costly and unpopular war.
Some 500 British troops are due to be repatriated by the end of this year, leaving around 9,000. British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said he expected thousands of those remaining to go home next year, but not the majority, indicating a maximum withdrawal of around 4,500 personnel.
All British combat personnel are due to be withdrawn by the end of 2014.
"I would expect it will be significant, which means thousands, not hundreds, but I would not expect it to be the majority," Mr Hammond told the BBC, after being asked about troop withdrawals next year.