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Wednesday, 22 August 2007

British troops 'will quit Iraq fight for Afghanistan' amid US criticism of role

MINISTERS are planning to shift the UK's military focus to Afghanistan, even as Britain faces growing criticism from the United States over plans to withdraw from Iraq.

The Ministry of Defence is said to be considering a major reinforcement of the NATO mission in Afghanistan, possibly sending up to 2,000 extra troops. Any reinforcement could coincide with an anticipated withdrawal of the 5,500-strong British forces from southern Iraq.

Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, will make a statement on the British presence in Iraq in October. MPs and officers alike expect him to begin Britain's final withdrawal from the country. More...