London, Nov 13 : At a time when pressure is mounting on the Gordon Brown government to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan, a new survey has found that two-third Britishers, mostly young, want withdrawal of troops from the war-torn country within a year.
The ICM poll of 1013 people, carried out for a BBC, found that 68 per cent of the people in the UL believe that UK troops should withdraw within 12 months. Among men the figure was 59 per cent while 75 per cent of women agreed with the statement.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is slated to meet Gordon Brown soon for discussions include a call for more international forces. Besides, US President-Elect Barack Obama is also expected to call Britain to increase its deployment to Afghanistan in support of a "surge" strategy.
British forces in Afghanistan now number just over 8000, with most operating in the troubled southern Helmand Province.
A total of 124 British servicemen and women have died in the country since the start of the US-led operation to topple the Taliban regime in late 2001, following the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington. But, the vast majority of British fatalities happened in the last two-and-a-half years.
British Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, warned on Sunday that the British military was already overstretched, and suggested that troops from other NATO countries should be sent to fight.