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Afghanistan: exit strategy

As US troops continue to withdraw, Britain too must scale back its ambitions in the region

By Matt Cavanagh   December 2011

Ten years after the fall of the Taliban, and more than five years after British forces were first deployed to Helmand—which has claimed all bar a handful of our nearly 400 fatalities—the public’s attitude to the Afghan campaign seems to be one of weary resignation. There remain, however, big decisions to be made. The new commander of international forces, US marine general John Allen, has promulgated his plan for 2012, shifting his focus from Helmand and Kandahar towards the east, and the ministry of defence has been working through the implications for Britain’s 10,000 troops, as well as charting our…

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