NATO forces 'may abandon most of northern Helmand'

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London, Nov.9 (ANI): Western military commanders in Afghanistan are considering a radical shift in policy that would see British and US forces conduct a tactical pull-out from most of northern Helmand, including the town of Musa Qala.

The Times quoted a NATO source said the plan to withdraw from northern Helmand would be considered if proposed reinforcements, currently being examined by President Obama, were not approved.

General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Kabul, has asked for 40,000 more troops but President Obama has yet to make a decision.

British military sources said, however, that a withdrawal from Musa Qala would be viewed as a defeat and could not be countenanced.

They said it would also be a betrayal of the governor of the district, who risked his life to take a stand against the insurgents.

The plans now being considered in Kabul would pull British and American troops out of the towns of Musa Qala and Nawzad to focus on stabilising the highly populated central areas of the province.

The only remaining Western forces in the north of the province would be those defending the hydro-electric dam at Kajaki. (ANI)

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