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Thursday
Jun232011

Foreign Allies React to Obama's US Afghan Drawdown Plans

ABC News(LONDON) -- European allies have thrown their support behind President Obama's Afghan drawdown plan.  In their own way, the allies are saying that we've done enough, and it's time to start thinking about getting ready to go home.

"The tide is turning. The Taliban is under pressure everywhere. The Afghan security forces are getting stronger every day," said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The tide of public opinion in Europe turned against the campaign long ago, with many saying the war goals were too ambiguous, the involvement too lengthy and the costs simply too high.

British Prime Minister David Cameron fully agreed with the president's assessment. The British leader is behind a progressive reduction in ISAF force levels, and for his combat troops, there is an exit date. By the end of 2014, the combat mission for UK forces will be over.

But until then, there will be lots of work to do.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says, for now, it'll be business as usual.

"In terms of the announcement of the United States, our work in Uruzgan province would continue in the same way," Gillard said.

But even as the combat mission winds over the next few years, a number of contributing nations plan to keep some troops in Afghanistan. Their role, however, will change to one of training.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio