France, Germany and UK to Follow US Footsteps in Afghanistan

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Context

France will withdraw its 4,000 soldiers from Afghanistan according to the same staggered deadline as the US pullout, said Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday. The announcement comes hours after US President Obama said Washington planned to start bringing home troops this summer. France’s pullout will happen in coordination with Afghan officials and allies and “in a proportional manner comparable to the withdrawal of American troops,” said a statement from Sarkozy’s office. Meanwhile, Germany said it planned to reduce its contingent of 4,900 by the end of 2011. The UK had already announced its 10,000 soldiers will be withdrawn by 2015 if not one year earlier.