Afghanistan surge troops withdraw

Last updated 13:45 21/09/2012

Relevant offers

Asia

Thai PM apologises for bikini comment after tourists' murder Bizarre details emerge in Jakarta sex abuse case Chinese secret police seek to interview NZ citizen Explosive allegations in baby Gammy saga Eight die in China bus stop crash Evacuations as Philippines' volcano spews lava American arrested trying to swim to North Korea al-Qaeda wing in South Asia claims major attack Forensic report into Thailand murders leaked Thai police question slain Brit's roommate

The last of the 33,000 'surge' troops ordered into Afghanistan by president Barack Obama in 2009 have withdrawn from the country, returning the American presence to pre-surge levels, a senior US defense official said on Friday.

The surge in American troops was designed to push back the Taleban and create space for Nato forces to build the Afghan army to a point where it could take over Afghanistan’s security, allowing for an eventual Western drawdown.

The completion of the surge withdrawal had been expected by the end of September.

Obama has trumpeted ending the war in Iraq and winding down the war in Afghanistan as he seeks re-election on November 6.

The return of US forces to pre-surge levels comes as Nato commanders wrestle with an upswing in "insider attacks" by Afghan forces turning their guns on Western troops.

Nato announced this week it was scaling back some joint operations with Afghan troops as a result, raising questions about Obama's plan to stabilise the country ahead of the expected withdrawal of most combat troops by the end of 2014.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content