France to start pullout of troops from Afghanistan next month
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France to start pullout of troops from Afghanistan next month

Paris : France | Jun 09, 2012 at 12:50 PM PDT
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France has been one of the United States staunchest allies on the war against terror and has also been condemning terrorist attacks taking place across the globe, especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Along with other allies of the US, France also dispatched its troops to Afghanistan to flush out militants. However, the French people have been demanding withdrawal of the troops from Afghanistan for increasing casualties and injuries of their soldiers. France may be the first US ally that has openly announced to pullout from Afghanistan owing to the increasing number of the deaths of their soldiers.

French people have been pressing their government for the last couple of years for the withdrawal, as they deem the war against terror useless. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy had announced to pullout the troops at the end of 2013, but the new elected president, Francois Hollande, announced on Saturday during a ceremony to speed up the withdrawal process. Hollande said that he was well aware of the public sentiment on mounting deaths of the French soldiers in Afghanistan. The president announced to start pullout of the troops by next month and complete the process by the end of this year – 2012.

Observers say the announcement by the president may be the result of his commitment to the French people for the early withdrawal from Afghanistan that he made to them during the May election. Observers opine that public pressure started mounting on the president after four French soldiers were killed and five received critical injuries at the hands of Taliban recently. The people believe that the Afghan war is nothing but destruction and devastation of the French economy besides a major cause of the loss of lives of their soldiers.

Observers say that the French move may cause colossal damage to the war on terror led by the United States, as other nations can also follow suit. People of NATO countries have long been terming the Afghan war useless and demanding their respective governments for the early withdrawal of the troops. They say that it would be better for the United States as well to bring back the date for the troops withdrawal from the volatile country. The United States plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan at the end of 2014. At the moment, there are around 3,500 French soldiers deployed in the war-torn Afghanistan to fight against terrorists and militants linked to different terror outfits.

The US should either dissuade France from going ahead with its plan of withdrawal or announce early withdrawal of the troops to save NATO and its other coalition partners from fragmentation. At the moment, the US has given no specific response to the statement of the French president, but they must be well aware of the ground realities.

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French troops in Afghanistan
French troops in Afghanistan, AFP photo.
StephenManual is based in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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