Diplomatic and Military Affairs

UK general warns against Afghanistan pullout

Updated: 2011-05-31 06:11


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LONDON - Britain's most senior general in Afghanistan says that there must be no significant pullout of troops from the country until late 2012.

Gen. James Bucknall said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph that US reinforcements that arrived last year should stay for two more summer fighting seasons to hold gains against the Taliban.

He said any significant withdrawal of troops would send conflicting signals on commitment to the campaign there.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron recently said that Britain will pull out 450 troops from Afghanistan in the next year.

Bucknall predicted heavy fighting this summer in places like Helmand, where British troops are stationed.

Some argue that Osama bin Laden's death means that allied forces should speed up the pullout from Afghanistan.


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