London, Oct 13(ANI): British defence chiefs are planning a faster withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, after Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne challenged their strategy and suggested that every army man should come home immediately.
According to the Telegraph, during a recent Whitehall meeting on withdrawal, the Chancellor questioned the purpose of continuing Britain’s Afghan mission for another two years.
Prime Minister David Cameron has promised that British combat operations will be over by the end of 2014, the paper said.
Ministers and military commanders are in discussions over how quickly to reduce troop numbers as the deadline approaches, with Armed Forces chiefs having to draw up new options for a bigger withdrawal next year than was being considered, it added.
The paper added that at the meeting, commanders briefed ministers on the operations that will involve thousands of troops over the next two years.
Osborne is understood to have responded to the military presentation by calling into question the proposed plan for withdrawal, asking why British forces should not come home now, it further reported.
Ministers and military chiefs are debating the timetable for removing the last 9,000 British troops from Afghanistan, it added.
A total of 433 British service personnel have died in Afghanistan since the 2001 operation that toppled the Taliban. (ANI)