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Early withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan to jeopardize US' special relations with UK

May 17, 2011 - Washington

UK Prime Minister David Cameron's push for an early withdrawal of British commanders from Afghanistan has caused alarm in the US, raising fears that it would strain The Special Relationship between the two countries.

David Cameron has reportedly ordered British commanders to draw up plans to start pulling hundreds of British troops out of Afghanistan within weeks.

The prospect of an imminent British withdrawal has alarmed American generals, who are trying to resist political pressure for a major reduction in US troop numbers.

According to sources, US generals have delivered a blunt warning to their British counterparts about the impact of an early UK withdrawal, the Daily Mail reports.

One senior American general is said to have told British commanders that the US would not "bail out" British troops in Afghanistan if Cameron reduces their numbers too quickly.

Defence chiefs on both sides are wary of political pressure for a rapid reduction in Afghan numbers, arguing that the military mission needs at least another year to make progress against the Taliban and build up Afghan security forces.


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