France says too soon to talk of Afghan pullout


From Reuters:  French Defence Minister Herve Morin was quoted on Thursday as saying it was counterproductive to talk of withdrawing the 3,500 French troops serving with NATO forces in Afghanistan.

But while both the United States and Britain have set target dates to withdraw some or all of their forces, Morin said: "To talk of withdrawal today is counterproductive.

"As long as security and stability are not effective in a zone, we must continue our mission. But intermediate stages should be set so public opinion doesn’t get the impression of a useless effort," he was quoted as saying.

Morin reiterated that the head of the French inter-service defence college, General Vincent Desportes, would be punished for saying in a newspaper interview that the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan was not working and the situation had never been worse.  (photo: Getty)

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