The British forces deployed in Afghanistan are to reduce to 5,300 soldiers by end of 2013 2012121
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Defence News - United Kingdom
|Thursday, December 20, 2012, 01:20 PM|
|The British forces deployed in Afghanistan are to reduce to 5,300 soldiers by end of 2013.|
UK force levels in Afghanistan are to reduce to around 5,200 by the end of 2013, announced Wednesday December 19, 2012, the British Prime Minister. In Parliament, the Prime Minister said UK forces would shift from mentoring Afghan troops at battalion level to brigade level next year. This reflects the progress made in Helmand and the increasing ability and confidence of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) to lead security operations.
Around 9,000 british soldiers are currently deployed in Afghanistan under the ISAF mission.
The drawdown, agreed by the National Security Council (NSC) this week, is in line and consistent with both UK military advice and the NATO strategy agreed at the Lisbon Summit in 2010, under which ISAF forces continue to operate across the country. UK forces will end combat operations by the end of 2014. It is part of transition to an enduring commitment to Afghanistan.
Today’s announcement comes as the previously announced reduction of UK force levels from 9,500 to 9,000 is achieved with service personnel due to arrive home in time for Christmas. Detailed work on how force levels will reduce in 2013 is ongoing and will be conducted in line with operational requirements and the transition process which remains on track.
But as the Afghan forces increasingly take the lead, UK combat operations will give way to an increasing focus on training and advising. By the end of 2013 it is expected that UK forces will not routinely need to mentor Afghan forces below Brigade level, allowing the reduction in numbers