David Cameron warned over speed of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan
Source: The Guardian
David Cameron has been warned by senior military commanders that Britain will risk the stability of Afghanistan and the UK if the government withdraws troops too quickly.
As the prime minister visited troops in Helmand province amid tight security, a senior military source warned that Britain must maintain a strong presence for another two years if it wants Afghanistan to remain a viable country.
British military commanders, who are handing over security powers to Afghan forces ahead of the ending of Nato combat operations in December 2014, were alarmed by a report of a dramatic escalation of withdrawals next year. Cameron all but confirmed a report in the Sun that Oliver Letwin, who chairs a new armed forces cabinet sub-committee, had said that Britain could save £3bn if all combat troops were withdrawn by 2013, rather than by 2014. Letwin's suggestion was reportedly backed by George Osborne.
"I am not going to comment on debates we have in the National Security Council," Cameron said during a visit to Camp Bastion. "But it is important we have these debates, that is what the NSC is for.