British taxpayers get a bill of nearly $34b for Afghanistan war, but Govt lifts the pace on its withdrawal.
5:30 AM Friday Dec 21, 2012
The cost of the war in Afghanistan to the British taxpayer has reached £17.4 billion (nearly $33.9 billion) the Government disclosed yesterday, as it set out details of the accelerated exit plan for its troops.
The UK presence will be reduced from 9000 to 5200 by the end of next year, and all but a few hundred of the remaining troops will return home during 2014.
Ministers are hastening Britain's exit from the 11-year war despite fears that Afghan forces could lose control of parts of the country after Western forces leave.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is believed to be among senior Cabinet ministers pressing for more drastic and more immediate cuts in troop numbers, not least because of the huge sums involved in maintaining the military operation.