France To Pull Troops Fighting Against Taliban In Afghanistan

December 18th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: France To Pull Troops Fighting Against Taliban In Afghanistan

New York Times
December 18, 2006
Pg. 10

PARIS, Dec. 17 (AP) — France announced Sunday that it intended to withdraw its approximately 200 troops, all of them special forces, from a southern Afghan city where they are taking part with NATO troops in a counterinsurgency operation.
Despite the strong engagement by 32,800 NATO troops, fighters allied with the country’s former Taliban rulers have been gaining strength.
France has been reluctant to have its forces in Afghanistan, a total of 1,100 troops, serve outside the relatively safe Afghan capital, Kabul. The decision would remove elite troops based in the southeastern city of Jalalabad.
“There is a general reorganization” of the French troops, Defense Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie said during a visit to Afghanistan. Her remarks were broadcast on France-Info radio.
Among planned changes is a “withdrawal of special forces from Jalalabad in the coming weeks,” she said.
The NATO contingent will remain in Afghanistan, Capt. Sébastien Caron, the Defense Ministry press officer, said in Paris.
On Saturday, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said that Afghan, American, Canadian, British and Dutch forces had done most of the fighting in Afghanistan over the past year at a time when ambushes, suicide bombings and other attacks had multiplied. Those nations have also borne the brunt of the casualties. Senator McCain called on NATO nations to send troops into more dangerous areas of Afghanistan.
The violence in Afghanistan this year has been the worst since the fall of the Taliban, in late 2001, with especially heavy fighting in the southern part of the country, and suicide attacks and roadside bombs.
The elite French troops have been deployed in southeastern Afghanistan since July 2003 to help in the fight against people believed to be linked to Al Qaeda and the Taliban and to help search for the Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden.
Captain Caron said the decision to withdraw the special forces was made “in concert with our partners, notably the Americans.”
Ms. Alliot-Marie said that France intended to maintain its air power, “which has backed up coalition forces numerous times,” and that it was adding two helicopters in the zone between Jalalabad and Kabul.
She said France also planned to train Afghan special forces “because it appears important to us that the Afghans see that it is their own forces which are retaking the theater” of war.
December 19th, 2006  
If Kabul becomes a safe haven for NATO troops we might risk the "Siege of Kabul" starring Taliban with the combat initiative.
December 19th, 2006  
I'm shocked! The French decided to back off from a fight? Who could have imagined such a turn of events
December 19th, 2006  
December 19th, 2006  
The Cooler King
December 20th, 2006  
Originally Posted by The Cooler King
haha...that's good one, King.
December 21st, 2006  
Monty Python's Holy Grail comes to mind. "Run away! Run away!"
December 21st, 2006  
Originally Posted by Big_Z
Monty Python's Holy Grail comes to mind. "Run away! Run away!"
I love it!
December 21st, 2006  
WW1, WW2 no wonder they are the wimps of Europe if WW3 had happend during the cold war they would sued for peace.
December 21st, 2006  
They probably need the troops in France where the radicals are burning cars and everything else they don't like.

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