More British troops to leave Afghanistan by summer 2013

  • 19 December 2012

Almost half the British troops still serving in Afghanistan will return home by the end of next year, the prime minister has announced.

David Cameron told MPs that around 3,800 servicemen and women will come back to Britain by the end of 2013.

Numbers are already being reduced from 9,500 to 9,000 before this Christmas.

All military operations are due to finish by the end of 2014, with Afghanistan's own forces taking over responsibility for security.

'On track'

The British troops in Afghanistan are part of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Nato-ISAF) mission, trying to make the country more stable.

Nato-ISAF has tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan from 49 different countries including America, Germany and France.

They've been there for more than 10 years, after being sent to defeat Taliban fighters, who Britain and America thought were protecting terrorists who'd attacked the USA.

Over the years, many British servicemen and women have been training local Afghans to protect the country for themselves.

The decision to bring all troops home by 2014 was agreed at a meeting of the National Security Council on Tuesday.

David Cameron also discussed Afghanistan in an hour-long video call with US President Barack Obama.

They agreed that Nato's plan to bring troops home was "on track".

Find out why British troops are in Afghanistan